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Fun in a Doctor's Life
BEING THE ADVENTURES OF AN
AMERICAN DON QUIXOTE IN HELPING TO MAKE THE 1
WORLD BETTER. AND HOW THE 1
PROBLEM WAS SOLVED FOR HIM BY OTHERS. 1
IN ENGLAND. FRANCE AND GERMANY '
ALSO AN ENDEAVOR TO CONVERT WHAT IS USUALLY STUPID, EGO-
TISTICAL AND UNINTERESTING IN AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. INTO
MANY SHORT. READABLE STORIES AND ESSAYS.
DIDACTIC ONLY THROUGH ENTERTAINING
Shobal Vail clevenger, m. d. e
Medical Jurisprudence cf Insanity, Evolution of Man and His Mind, Spinal Con-
cussion, Therapeutics Materia Medica and Practice. Artistic Anatomy,
Method of Government Surveying, Etc., Etc.
Etolution Publishing Company
atlantic city, n. j.
THE NEW YORK
AOTOR, LENOX AND
I B 1945 L
Shobal Vail Cievenger
Fun in a Doctor's Life
SOME Ki:^DS OF FTIN.
The world is a comedy to those who think, and a tragedy
to those who feel." — Horace Walpole.
When the upper Wisconsin lumber region was
^^rougli and tumble" there was a yarn that a traveler
met several men, one after the other, looking ragged
and mutilated as though just from a battle.
The pilgrim naturally asked what was up.
'^Oh, nothin', only havin' a little fun with the
boys at Oshkosh."
Similar responses were made by the others as they
passed and were asked to explain their wounds and
disorder. They had evidently had a royal good time,
such as Sir Walter Scott described in the career of
Richard III with Friar Tuck, or Dumas tells of the
roystering fete of Landi, and legends hand down to
us of Donnybrook and Kilkenny fairs.
Little Fauntelroy goes forth spotlessly clad and
returns mud-spattered, tattered and with a ^'black-
eye" (ecchymosis), to be upbraided by his mother
with: '^Didn't I tell you not to play with those
naughty boys ?"
"I didn't, they played with me 1"
4 FUN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE
The first troglodite ape-man who disturbed vested
interests bj proposing to ventilate and cleanse the
caves they dwelt in, had fun with the boys and their
The last reformer who yawped against gang-rule
and was put in the penitentiary on a trumped-up
charge because of his daring to fight the machine boss,
afforded fun to the gangsters and incidentally picked
up a lot of it himself, the recollection of which con-
soles him as he "plays checkers with his nose" in the
spaces between crossed iron bars of his cell window.
And he had the fun of trying to reform things.
Fighting is fun for soldiers, and when the fool
reformer is a self-appointed soldier to an under-
estimated task, that grows bigger as he is alternately
knocked down and scrambles onward, he can get
amusement and satisfaction out of accomplishing
trifles or being defeated.
Base ball, foot ball, and other survivals of glad-
iator and bull fighting entertainments are relished
by both sides, participators and "rooters." Gog-
Magog eats Davids and Jack Giant Killers daily.
Demagogues discomfit reformers perpetually, and if
the principles for which the reformer troubled him-
self and his sleepy neighbors prevail for a time, he
is merely remembered as having done something dis-
agreeable on a remote occasion, and the same iden-
tical gangsters he fought label themselves reformers,
stealing the livery of heaven to serve the devil in, and
crowd him out of any participation of benefits.
SOME KINDS OF FUN ^
There are many old saws to comfort him :
^'Thrice is he armed who hath his quarrel just,"
and the remark of the philosopher Schopenhauer that :
^^Xo one can teach this old world anything and hope
to escape with a whole skin," similar to Professor
White's comfortable assurance that: ^'Everyone who
has attempted to do good to his fellows in. this world
has been made to suffer for it."
The comfort being in the limitation to ^^this
Slowly things grow better as we trample over the
bones of those who made them so, and so long as right
prevails in the end what more can we ask ? There is
genuine satisfaction in feeling that you deserved to
succeed, whether you did or not, and you have the
fun of being on the right side.
Right forever on the scaffold,
\Yrong forever on the throne;
But that scaffold sways the future,
And behind tlie dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own.
Mental evolution develops high types of men who
seek wholly the good of their fellows, not necessarily
perfect in other matters themselves, for they are
mortals like those whose welfare they promote ; who
cheerfidly sustain privations, misunderstandings,
revilings, anything for the sake of the cause they
The dogged determination of the soldier who
stood guard at the gate of Pompeii while the volcano
6 FUN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE
ashes buried him, may be united with an intellectual
conviction that however relative may be the terms
right and wrong, when it comes to doing good to
others there are spirits of absolute right and wrong,
on whose sides are arrayed enlightened good against
fathomless evil. 'No one is more aware of this than
the scientific student who, as things of this earth re-
cede, acquires clearer vision and conceptions of what
might be worthy of a better world to come.
Talk about your strenuous life!
Contrary winds, and storms that were not con-
trary, blew the French barque Due d' Orleans zig-
zagging ninety days from Leghorn to New York, at
one time very nearly stopping altogether in the vege-
tation and drift-covered Sargasso sea.
And in those times, of 1843, barks did much of
the passenger carrying, so you had to put up with
what the winds and waves afforded you in making
time across the Atlantic, instead of rising superior to
both as in this twentieth century.
A martinet English captain and timid crew of
Italians, a few American passengers and a cargo of
marble made up the load, dipping below what is
now PlimsolPs mark.
A leak with such a load would have postponed
the writing of this book indefinitely, for my parents
with their three children were returning to the United
States on that vessel. We are descendants of 'Rew
Jersey and Ohio Quakers, Huguenots and Metho-
8 FUN IN A DOCTOR^'s LIFE
dists, but I had to start in life with the equivocation
of having been born in Florence, Italy, and there-
after remain under suspicion of being a '^dago."
One tires of explaining things away, and at the polls
foreign born Americans being naturalized by ^^Act
of Congress'^ takes time to explain, and one runs the
risk of challenge as to his right to vote at all.
Saying nothing of the question of eligibility to
the presidency on account of foreign birth, because
the last heard of the old gag about rather being right
than president it was extinguished by some states-
man assuring the one who used the expression that
he "would never be either.'^
A ''day's sail'' from Gibraltar sails were furled,
the vessel was ''put about," the English burial ser-
vice was read by the captain, and at the words : "We
consign his body to the Deep," a corpse, wrapped in
sail cloth Avith cannon balls at the feet, was slid into
the ocean from under its American flag covering, by
tilting the board bier.
It was a passenger who had died on the boat, and
had asked that his body be kept till the straits were
passed and he could be buried in the Atlantic, the
waters nearest America. He was my father, the
American sculptor, an account of whom appears in
Then followed a three days' storm, in the track
of which the bark scudded with bare poles with
passengers lashed to berths. The discoverer of the
laws of cyclones, Piddington, the English merchant
marine captain, was then studying out the material
for his celebrated ''Horn Book," finally completed at
Calcutta, his preface being dated 1859. He showed
that by observing the wind direction and keeping
track of the barometer ups and downs you could
tell what part of the circular storm you Were in to
be able to avoid it, manage in it, or profit by it. He
was a reformer and caught it good and heavy from
the wiseacre mariners and officials of the admiralty.
They had their fun in abusing him for a fool who
pretended to know about storms far in advance and
many more things besides, and about the time poor
Piddington was ready to die his theories were sus-
tained, and now no ship, big or little, ventures from
port without a copy of Piddington's Horn Book.
The ''horns" are two transparent sets of concentric
circles, one for each north and south hemisphere, for
cyclones run with the hands of a clock in one and
against that direction in the other. One of these flat
glass-like sheets is placed over the chart of the ship's
position to correspond with the wind and barometer
indications and at a glance the navigator knows ex-
actly where he is in the storm and many other parti-
culars a mariner should know, but up to Pidding-
ton's time could not know.
Had the captain of the Due d'Orleans known
the laws of cyclones we might have been saved much
danger and suffering on that trip, but had Moses had
a Ben Holliday stage route he could have gone
through his 40 year wilderness in 40 hours, as Mark
10 FUN IN A DOCTOK^S LIFE
Twain suggested. A rail road and locomotive might
have reduced the trip to minutes, if the children of
Israel had not taken to the woods at sight of the
A month or so later, — think of being three months
on a trip like that, — the captain was bawling angrily
at the man at the wheel, ''Hard up !" Hard up !" and
the poor chap evidently was pulling the wrong way,
but with every snort of the captain's "Hard up," he
crowded the wheel further in the same direction. My
little brother Albert translated the command into:
"Sopra!" and the wheel flew around in the opposite
spin ; the captain including boy and steersman in his
scowl. Thereafter the little fellow was looked for
eagerly when the sailors puzzled over English orders
from the officers, but the average Englishman thinks
other languages have no rights they need respect.
On arrival at !New York, John Jacob Astor, the
founder of Astoria, advised my mother in disposing
of the marble statuary of my father. The bust of
Daniel Webster, now in the Metropolitan Art Gallery
in l^ew York, brought $500, Henry Clay's bust a
similar sum, and Washington Allston's friends pre-
sented the bust of that celebrated artist to the Boston
Athenaeum, giving my mother a handsome amount
The newspapers and magazines of that period
contained full notices of what the sculptor had accom-
plished and his death, and Edward Everett, the
author statesman, upon receiving the bust he had
ordered and sat for, wrote the following lines, dated
Boston, Dec. 21, 1839:
Time, care and sickness bend the frame
Back to the dust from whence it came;
The blooming cheek, the sparkling eye
In mournful ruins soon must lie;
The pride of form, the charm of grace
Must fade away, nor leave a trace.
They shall not fade; for Art can raise
A counterpart that ne'er decays:
Time, care and sickness strive in vain
The power of genius to restrain.
Thou, Clevenger, from lifeless clay
Can'st mould what ne'er shall fade away,
Fashion in stone that cannot die,
The breathing lip, the speaking eye;
And while frail nature sinks to dust,
Create the all but living bust.
What I take the most pride in is a line at the
conclusion of Henry T. Tuckerman^s biography of
my father, in the ^'Book of Artists :''
''Brief as was the life of Clevenger, it was for
the most part happy, and altogether honorable.'^
His mother was a French Huguenot of a family
of Bunnells, a woman of extraordinary intellect,
married to Samuel Clevenger, of I^ew Jersey, prob-
ably related to Captain Job Clevenger, of the Burl-
ington militia, who was killed by the British at Cross-
wicks in the war of the Revolution.
There is also in the history of IN'ew Jersey an
account of a petition to the king dated 1690, ''for
better government of East Jersey," and among the
signatures is that of John Clevenger. His signature
appears in very black ink as witness to wills dated
12 FUN m A DOCTOR^S LIFE
1702 and 1712 on file in the office of the Secretary of
State in Trenton.
Some of the ancient manuscripts and signatures
remain quite distinct, as though the nut galls and
iron made better ink in those days, about like ^'beef,
wine and iron" tonics of our time. John Hancock's
name is the only legible one to the Declaration of
Oliver Wendall Holmes dissected the '^pride of
ancestry" business, in showing that the female line
has equal claim to character transmission, so a long
list of Jones is related to multitudes of Browns,
Smiths and Robinsons, any one of whom might as
well be taken as a starting progenitor. The
2-4-8-16-32 ratio of forefathers and foremothers lands
any of us back to all of the Goths, Huns and Vandals,
whose forebears were the wildernesses chuck full of
apes. Dr. Baboon, Rev. Gibbon, Prof. Chimpanzee,
Gen. Gorilla and Orang-Outang, Esquire, prominent
among cebidse, capuchins, lemurs and successors to
amphibia, reptilia, pisces and a sea full of inverte-
While glad to hear of John Clevenger of 1690
being an early unsettler of vested interests through
his signing the protest, it is likely that the sculptor
Shobal Vail Clevenger inherited his ability from his
mother, whose Bunnell ancestors escaped from
France in the time of Louis XIV, the all around bigot
and vulgar ideal of a monarch.
It seems queer in this enterprising period that
some one has not set forth the history of evolution in
moving pictures, the gradual transformation by
descent of the heavy-jawed, retreating forehead,
pointed-eared, furred and tailed Pithecanthropus into
the cave dweller, the savage, the barbarbian, and
finally this last animal with his veneering of "civiliza-
The child could be showTi growing to adult age
and stature, the flower unfolding from the bud, in
turn from the leaf and so on, back to the crypto-
gamous beginning of plant life.
Rapid movement of such historical representa-
tion would give startling effects ; but were it practic-
able to put everything one ever did into such kinet-
ograph, at the rate of an hour for a generation of
doings, the monkey-shine absurdity of the most
solemn, dignified life would be plainly seen. Lord
Bacon's for instance. Hop-skipping and jumping
around majesty for favors, bobbing into and out of
bed, gobbling food, writing, sneaking, scheming and
finally repenting and getting into a hole in the
Reversing the order of pictures of this sort gives
amusing appearances ; I recollect a collision of trains
ending with their fall from a cliff. Running the ma-
chine backward presented the cars and engines roll-
ing up the hill to the track and the reconstructed
trains backing away from one another. But take
the life of animals and men either backward or for-
ward, and give bird's eye rapid views of them; then
14 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
observe the ant hill, the bunch of earth worms, the
writing in the sand.
"Men run to and fro and knowledge shall in-
crease." Further, the rolling stone does not become
a "mossback." Kough edges are liable to be polished
Running the biograph a little faster we can look
at general results, and later group any details that
seem to be entertaining.
But describing caperings up and down the earth^s
surface without assigning reasons for doing so could
include man and the Japanese dancing mouse in the
same moving picture.
First Italy, then the sea crossed to 'New York
and Boston, thence to St. Louis, a small Indian trad-
ing village on the Missouri river, the "Mound City."
These earthworks of the ancient Mandans I saw dug
down and carted away. My earliest recollections be-
gan in this town. Then I found myself on my uncle's
farm in Ohio, near Cincinnati on the Rocky Run
creek, where my big brother Albert took me on rabbit
hunts and to see him chop down great trees. I can hear
his whistle and songs now, as they echoed among
Ohio forests and hills, airs and words popular in the
forties and fifties:
"Cob corns twist your hair,
Cart wheels surround you,
Fiery dragon carry you off, and
Mortar and pestle pound you!" and:
"Did you eber see de debbil,
Wid his wooden, iron shovel,
A diggin* up de groun'
Wid his big toe-nail?"
Then we went to Xew Orleans and lived there
till first my brother died in the yellow fever epidemic
of 1853 and my step father followed with consump-
tion, as people persist in calling phthisis.
Back then alone to St. Louis I went, which by
1855 had become a large city of 100,000 inhabitants;
leaving school I worked as shipping clerk in my
uncle John Yates^ boat store. I like to look back
on the activities in McEnnis & Co.'s honest old ship
chandlery. There never was a hint of any kind of
wrong doing, the stores were pure, the accounts
straight, the men were well paid, and maybe that
was why the firm busted.
Another uncle, John J. Roe, put me in the States
Savings Institution as messenger, and I was soon
promoted to a collectorship. This was the largest
bank in the West. There were no clearing houses
and the three collectors ran around to the other banks
and to merchants and the sub-treasury, some days
taking in a million dollars in gold, silver, bankable
funds, as Missouri bank notes were called, and cur-
rency or "wild cat," as the notes of banks from other
States were known. These last ranged between 10
and 90 per cent, discount, and fluctuated, making a
collector as alert as Mark Twain tells how a pilot
on the lower Mississippi river had to be, with the
shifting banks, sand bars, snags, changing currents
and fogs peculiar to navigating that stream. Then
doing so at night. He tells of a pilot who took his
great steamer safely over a long stretch of the very
16 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
worst part of the river, not only at night when
nothing could be seen, but as the pilot was a somnam-
bulist, it was on one of the occasions when he was
asleep. Twain's comment being: ^'If he could do
that when he was asleep, what couldn't he do if he
was dead ?"
I took one trip with Sam Clemens when he was
a cub pilot on the boat named after mj uncle Roe,
and another trip with him on the Falls City, a great
passenger packet. I think he mentions me in one
of his books as a mischievous boy.
I got the California fever and studied Spanish
from Ollendorf's Spanish Grammar, and it happens
to be about the only language on earth you can pick
up from a book, the reason being the invariability
of the pronunciation of the letters. Esperanto is
largely based on it, and I believe Spanish is the
ancient Latin as pronounced in far off ages. Cer-
tainly Spaniards are more Roman than those who
live in Rome.
But the Indians were too fierce on the California
route, so I was switched off to Colorado and ]^ew
Mexico. Such things as railroads were not dreamed
of then. Freight was hauled by "prairie schooners,''
big wagons, from Leavenworth and Kansas City to
Santa Fe and way places.
Back I came to St. Louis and took another trip
to New Mexico, wintering near Ft. Wise, afterwards
Ft. Lyon, Colorado. In this trip a characteristio
experience was in living in my uncle's "palatial"
house while in St. Louis, and turning up in a couple
of months in an Indian wigwam on the plains. A
school mate of mine, George Bent, a half breed Chey-
enne Indian, asked me to come to his stockade at the
mouth of Pergatorj creek, near Ft. Wise, and to my
surprise the stockade was built around some log store
houses and we had teepees or buffalo skin tents to
The Civil War was advancing and returning to
"the States" I enlisted as a private in a regiment
being raised in Kansas City, bobbed around on
scouting, recruiting and clerical detached service,
along the upper Missouri river from St. Joseph to
St. Louis, then went with the troops to ^N'cw Madrid,
next to jSTashville, Tennessee, where in the LT. S.
Engineer Corps we built bridges and railroads, and
I was promoted to a first lieutenancy in another regi-
ment and took charge of Sherman Barracks, the
general recruiting rendezvous for Tennessee troops,
till after the battle of Xashville, when we were ordered
to ISTorth Carolina, and the war ending I was mus-
tered out of service, started a couple of newspapers
in Chattanooga with some officers and soldiers from
our army. The papers failed, and with my wife and
child we were ninety days going to Montana. I met
my wife that was to be during the siege of [N'ashville,
she was far better educated than I was, having grad-
uated from the Western Female College, of Oxford,
Ohio, a school on the Holyoke method of Mary Lyon.
At Ft. Benton, Montana, I was probate judge,
18 FUN" IN A DOCTOK^S LIFE
hotel keeper, U. S. Court Commissioner and U. S.
Revenue Collector, to secure which last position I
resigned the judge's place. Previously I held the
office of justice of the peace of Jefferson County, Mon-
tana, at White Hall, then called White Tail Deer
creek station, on the stage route from Helena to Salt
Lake City, a fifteen hundred miles route on the way
to Omaha by way of Cheyenne, all by stages of Wells,
Pargo & Company, whose express receipts read:
^^This company will not be responsible for the acts
of God, Indians or other public enemies of the gov-
ernment." I sent one of these blank receipts to
Harper's Monthly Magazine. At White Hall I
learned telegraphing, and in Helena earned quite a
sum at typesetting on a rush job, having mastered
the printing business in Tennessee.
In addition to my ''concentrated citizen" occupa-
tions at Fort Benton I studied astronomy, meteor-
ology, navigation, and surveying, and soon had a
contract to survey the military reservation. The long
quiet winters at that isolated fur trading post enabl-
ing me to profit by my wife's instruction and help.
Indeed I used her school books and through all my
subsequent surveys for the government carried a
copy of Loomis' Trigonometry and Logarithms that
she had used at school in Ohio.
At Sioux City, Iowa, I soon had a lot of friends,
among them being a grand old fellow named John
H. Charles, who owned a fleet of steamboats on the
river. I surveyed in Iowa and Nebraska, finally
building a telegraph line through Dakota in which I
owned a third interest, then became a Deputy U. S.
Surveyor, surveying many thousand miles of what
is now divided into Xorth and South Dakota, then
a territory. The Dakota Southern Kailway was
built later and appointed me its Chief Engineer.
At Yankton, Dakota Territory, I tried to unify
three factions of the Republican party by buying
separate newspajx'rs, consolidating them into the
Press and Dakotaian. This was in 1872.
General Alfred Mayer, the chief of the JJ. S.
Weather Bureau, then in the Sig-nal Service part of
the War Department, askf d me to take charge of the
weather observing station in Ft. Sully, Dakota, where
I spent nearly a year of the happiest time of my life,
for I had scientific companionship in the army surg-
eons, under whom T studied anatomy and chemistry
preparatory to my medical school course. Between
telegraphing and the signal service i had good pay,
but Captain Howgate boodled so much of the signal
service funds that the Sully office was discontinued,
and under my friend, Commodore Charles, I became
a steamboat clerk till I had enough to go through
medical school. Graduating in medicine I settled in
Chicago, was a physician at the County Insane
Asylum, and later had charge of the State Asylum
for Illinois at Kankakee; meanwhile and afterward
practising my specialty of nervous and mental dis-
ease in Chicago at my office and in two of the best
and largest hospitals in the United States, with a
20 FUW IN A DOCTOE^S LIFE
small santarium at Eiverside near the city; writing
many books and articles on medicine and science,
then coming east to start a great hospital and asylum
for nervous and mental disease, but being disap-
pointed took out a 'New Jersey license to practise
medicine and settled at Atlantic City, where I am at
Incidental trips into Wisconsin, Minnesota, Mich-
igan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and
to Washington, D. C, while surveying, and later as
an expert in insanity matters, about sum up this
egotistical narration. I think it was Charles Lamb
who described an egotist as "one who always wanted
to talk about himself when you wanted to talk about
yourself." You have had no chance on this occasion,
and I fear the telling sounds rather dry, but I will
try to make up for it by more entertaining stories.
And, by the way, a scientific man is handicapped in
romancing as he sticks so rigidly to facts. But if
a chap tells precisely what has taken place, if he has
had such a stormy life as mine, he need do no romanc-
ing to beat anything in story books. So, while stick-
ing to what has actually taken place in this narrative,
my endeavor has been to keep stupidly unnecessary
things out and boil the stories down to matters that
one need not doze over.
THWAETIITG A PROPHECY.
Old Sambo's advice was : ^'Don't ye never profesy,
onless ye know !"
There are instances of patients predicting their
own deaths and of attempts by their physicians to
keep them alive over the time set for the event.
I had one such case.
The old gentleman took to bed with nothing in
particular the matter but loss of interest in life. He
concluded finally that on a certain Saturday noon he
would depart, and seemed to be bent on the fulfill-
ment of his prophecy.
It is said that natives of Hawaii can lie down and
give up the ghost at will, but that a civilized human
being would even try to do so while sane, seems pre-
posterous, but we have all sorts of folks among us.
He dwelt so incessantly upon the approaching
event I feared that he had some suicide scheme to
make himself a prophet, so I set about circumvent-
The clock was on a shelf on the wall at the foot
of his bed, so that any notion of tampering with it
by methods familiar to congressmen in legislating 30
hours into 24 was impracticable. In the meantime
he was quite jolly and told me of physicians who had
22 FUN IN A DOCTOE^S LIFE
attended his family and for whom he had regard
when living in a small comitry town before coming
One old chap he remembered with positive affec-
tion for having saved the lives of every member of
his family during long years of attendance as his
"There wasn't anything old doc didn't know, and
at any time of day or night he would leave a meal
or get out of bed to come over and fix us up, and he
was awful careless in collectin' as lots of good doctors
"Once I owed the old doc $150, and gave him a
six months note for it, and in three or four months
he said he was so hard up for cash that if I would
put up $50 he would give me back the note and call
it square, and as I didn't know any easier way to
make money than that I took him up, and the old
simpleton didn't know he could hev sold the note
and got more than I giv him."
"Manys the time I've seen the old fellow so hard
up his family must hev lived on thin air, but he
never failed to help evei-yone whether they paid or
not, and I think underfeedin' used him up sooner
than if he had ben a good business man. Old doc was
thought so much of he mite hev faked it and made big
money, but he thought more of curin' folks than gettin'
paid for it, and you know how big doctors' bills look
after you get well, and we jest keep puttin' off pay in'
of 'em till we jest hate the sight of the doctor and
THWARTING A PROPHECY 23
feel like gettin' even for the oncomfortable feelins
iiis bill gives you. IN'aturally you get another doctor
next time that you don't owe nothin' to, as you don't
feel like payin' old bills that ain't pressin'."
Well, the old patient who got off all this rigmarole
about how he loved his other doctors, approached the
time he had set for buckling on his wings, and T got
his wife's consent to keep him asleep over Saturday,
and he got back his senses late Sunday afternoon to
find the voluminous Sunday editions of newspapers
handy for convincing him that he had slipped a cog
or two of time and was still alive.
It seems ridiculous, but the old hypo was mad
clean through about it. He cussed and took on as
if he had been swindled. One of his remarks being
*^You think yer dam smart, don't yer ?"
But he got up and for years was trotting around
the streets trying to put up with the world awhile
longer. If any thing could have induced him to con-
sent to live it would have been to have had a hand
in the profits made on Wall street by selling cats and
dogs to the government, as the stock gamblers did in
WIEELESS FKOM MAES.
The wireless telegraph operator merely took down
the words as they came, with no idea of their origin,
or for whom they were intended. Some previous
understanding doubtless had been made as to a future
communication which was now radiating to stations
other than the one intended.
And this was the message:
The planet you call Mars is a billion years old,
of your length of years. About a hundred million
years ago we had passed through all the monkey
stages of development that earth folks are still exper-
iencing, and began to see that our mountains were
washing down, our seas were drying up, and that
sandy deserts were not only spreading over the plane-
tary surface, but rains were ceasing, the atmosphere
was thinning and vegetation was scarcer and more
difficult to cultivate.
Many contending nations killed each other off,
however, before the survivors would listen to astron-
omers, geologists and other scientists as to what should
be done to prolong the lives of the miserable few who
remained scattered over the surface wherever an oasis
permitted existence. Even then false teachers misled
WIRELESS FEOM MARS 25
the people for their own ends, as your politicians and
sovereigns do with you.
Finally a remnant of survivors began a co-opera-
tive system of engineering expedients to widen the
oases upon which they lived, the seas having by this
time entirely disappeared, the hills being flattened,
and the extremes of alternating temperatures killing
off everything animate, whether plant or animal, save
in a few green spots here and there ; and in only one
of these was there any intelligent plan for bettering
conditions; the fittest to survive in the other places
up to that time being those exerting the most fraud
or force. But nature could not be controlled by such
means, and when it was found out that intelligence
had increased possibilities in the one spot of expand-
ing cultivation, it was suggested that an expedition
should set out to wrest the place from its inhabitants
and enslave them so the conquerers could enjoy the
new land without working themselves.
But only a few families reached the destination,
and they were in a sorry condition appealing for help
to those they meant to injure, as repentant miscreants
do, till the next chance they have for mischief.
By ages of training the owners of the last farms
and factories were so different from the race that had
perished, the remnant of the portion which had taken
refuge with the intelligent workers became a serious
problem to the good community. The old plan would
have been to slay them, isolate them by jailing or
banish them; but recognizing their common origin
26 FUN m A DocTOR^s lif:S
from remote monkeydom and being unable to trans-
port them to earth, where they would soon be riding
in automobiles about Newport, buying up legislatures
and as ^ew York bankers duping weak minded secre-
taries of the treasury into handing over the national
billions for gambling purposes. So the martians took
up the burden and started in for conversion, knowing
that thousands of years must pass before results were
apparent. And a big thorn in the social body was this
pariah set, for eternally were they cooking up schemes
for turmoil, wreckage, self aggrandizement, and to
subvert all plans of the community upon whose hospi-
tality they lived. Eventually, however, the malcon-
tents grew up to the standards of the others and be-
came more like their hosts, with reversions here and
there in hospitals and asylums.
Through dire necessity the planet was worked
over into canal systems to bring the water from the
poles as the ice melted, guiding it to the hot equator
whence it was returned by parallel canals to melt
more snow and to provide for navigation and irriga-
tion of widening oases with their vegetation.
In northern summer time the polar ice and snow
partly melted flowed southward, even beyond the
equator. In the northern winter the south pole
furnished water to the southern set of canals connect-
ting with the north system, the heated equator water
warming the temperate regions. The "white spots''
above the equator are lagoons for shunted ice to
remain till melted and returned to the canals as
WIRELESS FROM MARS
Water. Cold water runs from poles to equator and
beyond and back again in other canals as warmed
water, accounting for the doubling of canals so puz-
zling to you earthly observers.
We have engineering methods here you could not
understand, as you have not advanced in physics and
chemistry enough to comprehend them. We are also
vastly stronger than the earth people, not only bodily
but mentally, so that we know all that you do and more
that you are incapable of knowing, though the entire
secret lies in what a teacher told you a coilple of thou-
sand years ago, whose words you repeat as the parrot
does, with no meaning conveyed to most of your
brains, with no actual following of what he gave up
His life to teach, for you slew Him and still persecute
His real followc^rs, heaping wealth upon the organiza-
tions that pretend reverence for His name and mem-
ory, while mocking His teachings.
We people of Mars are of one mind, we see the
truth as in a few million years you will be able to do,
and we know of no wealthy class, no wretchedly poor
such as you have, no rulers who while claiming to be
public servants rob and enslave you.
We are happy with every breath we draw of the
attenuated air we still breathe, but know the time is
approaching when the air being all used up, the water
vanished from the planet, life as we now live it will
have ceased, to be followed by some forward step in
the evolution of the universe, inevitable and best for
all of us, yourselves as well as us and the other planet-
28 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
arians in this solar system, all of us but a drop in tlie
Your world will pass through the same exper-
iences, for you are younger than we are, having been
cast off from the sun much later than was Mars.
You will find that vicissitudes are your best
friends and instructors that working together for the
common welfare will give you the only heaven you
can have on earth; that until you pass your monkey
rapacity, vanity and treachery you will not even know
that you have a soul.
As the laws of nature could not be juggled with
there ceased to be use for other professions than the
medical in charge of laboratories and hospitals, and
the engineering to superintend vast public works.
The planet being one vast system of united co-opera-
OLD NEW ORLEANS.
Some boasting of earliest memories was silenced
by one telling that he remembered crying before he
was born, for fear he was going to be born a girl.
I distinctly remember being blown np with some
gunpowder I was playing with, in trying to imitate
my bigger brother's show of the burning of Moscow.
He had shown me how he lighted a train of powder
and it exploded under a box at the farthest end. I
had merely lighted the wrong end, and when I came
to, with eyelashes, brows and hair singed off, remark-
ed to the little girl in whose honor I was making the
demonstration, that I "wished I did run faster.''
This was at the fifth year or so, previous to this I
had rolled out of a window upon a porch roof from
which I was about to fall several stories when a man,
attracted by my sister's screams, caught me by the
hair just in time. This I only know of through hear-
ing of it.
But the mishap that preyed upon my youthful
dreams and made me shiver with terror, was dated
from the spoiling of my first pair of pants. I had
stained the white garment with the green juices of a
wet lawn upon which I sat. My mother changed me
30 lUW^ IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
back to frocks, saying, '^that settles it, you will have
to wear petticoats as long as yon live."
Terrific pictures of myself grown to big manhood,
but still arrayed in short gowns, disturbed my repose
for long years afterward, and to this day the anguish
of the anticipation is well remembered. It also re-
minds me that my youngest boy made up his mind to
remain in bed the rest of his life because he did not
fancy some new garments his mother handed him one
Poor kids ! what a nuisance parents are with their
eternal scolding about your making too much noise,
getting your feet wet, not washing face and hands;
telling you over and over again till you get sick of it,
that you must hold your knife, fork and sj^oon just
so ; not to make slobbering noises when you eat soup,
and not to wip<^ your hands on the table cloth.
This constant looking at every little thing you do
makes you wish you never had parents. Can't they let
a feller grow up natural, and not spoil his fun always ?
They forget they were young once, and they make you
wear your overcoat to school all sorts of weather for
fear it might turn cold. Why, its better to run the
chances of getting pneumonia than to be nagged about
clothing all the time.
Professor Hall thinks we ought to be allowed to
act like savages and to use slang and fight ; that it is
natural and is in the order of development, but fool
jDarents say its hard enough to bang the monkey and
savage out of us at any age, and the sooner they begin
OLD NEW ORLEANS 31
the less there will be for the rest of the world to do
in trying to civilize us.
We must reconcile ourselves to the time when we
will know as little as father.
For a year previous to 1880 I had worked on a
scientific article entitled Plan of the Cerebro-Spinal
System, and in the summer read it at the Boston Insti-
tute of Technology to a great assemblage of scientific
men, and fagged out took a run down to ^ew Orleans
to a meeting that winter of the American Public
Health Association, the badge of which gave us free
car rides. But we could not get on Jim Crow "Star"
cars unless we smoked, an intimation that smokers
were not as good as white men.
After the yellow fever epidemic which carried off
35,000 in a population of only three or four times that
number, in 1853 and 1854, I had been in the north,
but found few changes in all these years on my return,
except that everything was turned around from what
it was when I was a boy. If you come to a familiar
city and happen to be asleep or otherwise miss the
turnings from the straight line you fancy you are
traveling, you have to right yourself by a positive
effort upon arrival. Well, I was so badly about-faced
that when I made up my mind to go to a certain part
of the city I recollected quite well, I had to turn my
back on it and go away from where I thought it ought
to be, and I would then arrive safely. The river banks
towering above the to"«ATi had whirled off to where the
bayous had been, and the e-nds of the city had swapped
32 fuj^t in a doctoe^s life
places, the canals ran the wrong way, but after I had
met my boyhood friend, Gid. Folger, and had been
welcomed to his house, things spnn aronnd to their
A flood of early impressions were recalled, as I
sought out my childhood haunts. Gideon had been
in the first Louisiana artillery as a lieutenant, and
claimed he would have double shotted his 12 pounders
had he seen me among the yankees. Gid.'s skull wa^
shattered and he had cuff-buttons made of bones from
his head injury.
His father had a good home on Apollo street, with
a big library I was permitted to enjoy. Gid. took
me to the stables and asked me if I recollected chalk-
ing a door with ^^Cave Canem,'' pointing to what was
left of the marks during a quarter century. It gave
my heart a thump or two, and pleased me to think
my playmate had kept the souvenir.
The Folgers had several slaves and among them
was Aunt Chloe, who always claimed to be a ^^tousan'
years ole," she told of '^de elephans what knocked
down de nigger huts on de Congo."
In experience of savagery and the thing we call
civilization may be she was that old. I have felt like
it myself sometimes.
I recollected the negresses carrying trays on their
heads crying ''Marchand cakes, Marchand pies, Lat-
ania," the latter being a species of fan palm with iris
like blades used for weaving baskets and similar
wares. In the 50's great hoop skirts were worn, but
OLD NEW OELEANS 33
the peddlers could only afford a hogshead hoop at
the bottom of their single garment, making them
cone shaped, and when too near a wall causing dis-
asters that amused the gamins.
Where Apollo street ran into Carondelet street
there was a Ponchartrain Depot, now a Jewish Home
of some sort. Tivoli circle, now Lee's monument, was
a filled up basin for ships from which extended a
canal with the famous ^'shell road" over which ''2.40"
races were run by gigs. In my time part of the canal
was filled up and the basin called the new one was
constructed farther away from town. Boys were for-
bidden to swim in the canal nearer town than the
second bridge, and as that was pretty far the law was
broken if no police saw them swimming.
One hot day the water was so inviting that a
school full of boys risked capture. Soon the cry of
''Police !" went up, and there was a scurry with vary-
ing luck of escaping with or without clothes. T did
not know how to swim, but did so all right, getting
across the canal and out of danger of the calaboose,
but the gendarmes with crescent badges sat on my
duds and invited me to come and get them.
Hiding till night fall a boy friend found a barrel
for me, with which I clothed myself and by going
unfrequented ways reached the mulberry tree near my
window, climbed it and got into bed. jSText morning
I was thrashed for daring to put on my Sunday
clothes to go to -school in, bringing out the explana-
tion of having no others.
34 FUK IN A DOCTOk's LIFE
Beating was too mucli the vogue in those days.
At home and at school the rod was hcing worn out
over every one too helpless to prevent it. Teachers
here and in St. Louis whipped children so much that
it brutalized them and caused them to fight each other
constantly as the approved caper.
John Russell Young, who was ambassador to
China under President Grant, attended the same
school with me in I^ew Orleans. The teacher was
partly deaf, and to hear whether the strokes he made
on the children's hands with the rattan were the
causes of the queer sounds accompanying his per-
formance in castigation or not, he sometimes held his
ear quite close to the hand he was smarting, where-
upon to make it more realistic the youngsters would
buzz louder than ever. He did not seem to dis-
cover that the boys made the buzz, buzz, whiz
noises with their mouths in time with the descent
of the rattan, but he caught me laughing
at the absurdity of it all, and called me up for a
taste of the music. Then I quituated through a win-
dow opening down to the porch. In fact that was a
habit of mine and I finished several schools in the
same way. Every time there was a prospect of getting
a licking I left.
Quaint old New Orleans with its mediaeval like
houses, some of them in the French quarter with
gargoyles pouring water from the roof; the wall being
dryer came in old times to be accorded the place of
honor, particmlarly for females, and many silly duels
OLD NEW ORLEANS 35
were fought to gain the wall side; today we still
place the lady inside the walk dating from this origin.
Then there were sconces or large iron link rings on
other walls in which to place torches. Link boys still
lighted you through the streets for a picayune. Gas
lighting had been adopted in many places in Europe
and America, but in the 50's in ^Nfew Orleans I recol-
I( ct lard oil lamps with wicks from square tin boxes
being the means of illumination, and I saw people
turn out on Canal street to look down the row of
twinkling dimness, and remember one remarking that
there would not be so many murders now at night in
I broke my 1( g with a heavy iron swing I pushed
at Cheltenham park in playing, and for months was
abed, but devoured books, among them Bunyan's Pil-
grim's Progress, which I read over many times and
which affected all my subsequent life. From my
window T watcbvl the erection of a vast hr»tel, the St.
Charles ; towering to the skies with massive pillars
fronting a deep porch. I recall wonder that there
W2£ noney enough in town to afford io grand 2. ::/:::':ic-
ture. On my return in manhood, the hotel had diiain-
ished to a cracker-box size of teree small stories, and
the pillarE were hoUcw and wooden. How things
shrink as we grow !
Gulliver must have had the same feeling in Lilli-
put. My boyhood haimts ; the houses, staircases, cist-
ems above ground, parks, cemeteries, so imposing in
dimensions, all. shrunken to' toy-like sizes.
36 FUN IN A DOCTOK^S LIFE
Great cane brakes lined the shell road along the
canal to the sea, tall bamboos that crowded so close
that a few feet in the brake shut one away from sight
or finding a way back. The bayous were around the
city and from the cypress stumps boys crayfished.
Once, barefooted, I saw a queer looking crayfish com-
ing up the stump toward me with his tail curved over
his back and a sting on the end of the tail. "Scorp-
ion!" I yelled and went up in the air, string, pin-
hook, bait and twig-rod; losing interest from that
moment in bayou fishing.
The old fire companies were interesting. A fat
boy weighing about 400 lbs. ran with number 18; he
was known as the "Apollo street baby," and made
more noise at fires than ten other firemen. The ma-
chine was the old brake pump box, with ram on top,
and fire plugs were fought for and the captain
mounted the ram yelling Creole French oaths and
trumpeting to the pumpers, a row of whom were at
each pole at the ends of the wonderful squirter.
These volunteer fire companies came out in new
rigs when a clothing store burned, and the saying was
that they set fires themselves to make their living.
Bloody fights accompanied each conflagration ; getting
first to the blaze seeming to be the most creditable
thing, so if two machines came to a plug simultan-
eously nothing but battle could determine to which
engine it belonged, and sometimes the house had
burned down before it was settled.
Our mmkey mannered forefathers used tc argue
OLD XXTT OELEA^^S 37
right and wrong in similar ways; walking over red
hot plow-shares, stabbing each other with lances. Law
suits were adjusted that way and the present usually
is about as sensible a method. Bellowing before a
judge and jury, who might as well pull straws for a
The plebiscite of Napoleon III by which he
tricked France into making him emperor was still
talked of in the 50's, as it took long months for sail-
ing vessels to bring news across, and I well remember
following the events of the Crimean war between the
allied English and French against Russia. Every
great war since has taught me much geography and
history and hanging other information arovmd what
is thus acquired is the natural way of learning and
should be made use of in teaching also. "Authority"
repels the one who can only learn by reasoning.
Interest your youngsters after the Froebel plan in
something worth knowing, then add, to that other,
Madri Gras processions and tomfooleries always
disgusted me, particularly as malicious j)eople threw
quicklime in the faces of bystanders, pretending to
throw flour, which was customary.
The lagniappe or extra something claimed by pur-
chasers at groceries, etc., in New Orleans is a peculiar
custom, and finds a modern parallel in the absurd
stamp gift added to your goods by storekeepers. A
moment's reflection would convince any one with a
head on his shoulders that the buyer pays for such
38 TVN m A i>octor's lifjS
lagniappe, and big round prices too ; the way ont
would be to refuse such temptations and not deal with
stores that offer the stamps.
When the river broke its banks and flooded the
city it was called a crevasse, and many a time I poled
my way on a raft to school, the houses sometimes, as
school buildings were, being built upon brick pillars
to lift the first story above possible floods.
The surface of the streets was but a few inches
above permanent water and bricks that tipped in the
sidewalk and squirted mud on the frilled shirts and
duck tr<)us(^rs were called 'Vlandy traps."
The highest part of town was where CypressGrove
cemetery is, where my brother and step-father are
buri(^d. During the yellow fever of 1853 and '54
trenches were dug into which the dead were laid and
covered with quick liim'. A strange forerunner of
efficient prevention, had it been largely enough prac^
tised, was in burning tar barrels in the streets occa-
sionally during the epidemic. Mosquitoes could have
been suppressed by that means and the plague stopped,
but alas, no one knew anything about the disease
then. A third of the city was slain. T had the
fever at the same time with my mother and brother.
T heard the corporation cart drivers back up their
wagons to the curb, and cry out: ''Bring out your
dead." The coflins W(^re mere boxes daubed with
lamp black. All the carriages were used for
hearses and mourners walked if enough were left
to accompany the corpse. The negroes did not
OLD NEAV ORLEAK'S 39
seem to suffer from the sickness, at least not
Dr. Edmund Andrews and I had a room at
the great St. Charles while we attended the Health
Meeting in ^ew Orleans in 1880 ; an honor I
could not have anticipated when I saw the hotel
built ; and as we stepped into a Pullman car to go
to Chicago, bang went a pistol and a ball flew
between iis, sound ina- like old times; Andrews also
had been in the army as a surgeon. A pallid com-
mercial travoler of Memphis ran down the aisle
chased by the female who fired the shot, and who
cried out : ^'I love you and T kill you."
Dr. Andrews always had a keen sense of the
absurd, and laughingly remarked, ^^Tn logic that's
what we would call a non-soquitur. But this is the
Sunny South, sure enough."
Dear old Doctor Andrews, one of nature's
noblemen. An original thinker, a skillful surgeon,
gifted scientist and writer, truthful, honest, a w* 11
wisher for every one, and like many another happy
hearted genius he liked his joke. I have often seen
him at clinics and college quizzes laughing heartily
at some comical answer a student had made. He
would stand on one leg and laugh, and then stand
on the other leg and laugh, and the boys with him.
J'or instance: "Mr. Hayes, what would you do in
case of post partum hemorrhage ?"
"T would tie the post-partum artery."
Another freshy was asked to bound the cervical
40 FUN IH" A BOCTOK''s LIFE
triangle and in the course of his replies included
the ramus of the pubes.
The doctor wanted to know if that wasn^t
rather a long triangle.
AVe always welcomed the clear, thorough lect-
ures of Professor Andrews, illuminated with his
wit and kindliness.
The train stopped at a Bayou station just out-
side of New Orleans, and put off both the Memphis
drummer and his sweetheart, leaving them stand-
ing side by side, dejectedly. Some one said she
was a chambermaid at a hotel in the city. Further
deponent knoweth not.
The old French ditty seems applicable;
Le petit homme tant joli,
Qui toujours chante, et toujours rit,
Qui toujours baise sa mignonne;
Dieu gard' de mal le petit homme.
THE SON'S OF SEK'EGAMBTAK SIMIANS.
The Grand Patriarch rapped the meeting to order
and asked :
"What am the objecs of our noble order?"
The response of the assembled brotherhood was J
"Hope, coslosterousness and polotomy !"
"Who suggested dat motto fur us?"
"George Ade !"
Finally the committee on charity reported that
the request for aid from the widow of a former simian
was unfavorably regarded, as she had six children
who in a few years might earn enough for her sup-
port ; and besides, the funeral expenses of her hus-
band had used up much of the charity funds.
A brother attracted the attention of the patri-
arch and remarked :
"Whaffur is dat expense charged to de charity
fun' ? it orter ben de vanity fun', fur dese niggers
jest showed themselves off, struttin' de streets in
regalys an' banners. Mity pore charity to spen' so
much on tomfoolery an' let de widder and kids
"De brudder simian is out of order an' mussn't
4:2 FUN IN A DOCTOB^S LIFE
asparage de committee wisdom!'' said the patriarch
as he banged his gavel on the stone.
"Whars all dat money de treasurer had lass
"Disbussed in expenses, ob course."
"Yass, but wot kin' er expenses. Paradin' and
showin off, picknickin, funeral percessioning and
"And lemme ax, brudder simians, whas de good
ob all dis paradin' and showin' off? Makin de side-
walk niggers jealous and wantin' to pull razers on
ye; an' all dis time dere aint a cent fur der widdy
an' de orfan we chew de rag about so much!"
"Let de widdy and orfan take in washin, de
sassiety cant support all de lazy niggers in creation,''
replied another member.
"^N'o, but ye give some odder lazy niggers jobs as
secretary and treasurer an' wot dey don't get fum de
treasury we spen' in marchin' and celebratin', as
dough we cared a mity lot fur de contents ob de
hearse. Tf you fuss over me dat way I'll hant yer.
You jest pay my ole woman de cost of a nonsense
blowout, and give me a fifty cent funeral. Dats more
The chaplain said : "De munificens ob dis sassiety
muss be kep up. If we do our alms on de quiet who
is goin' to know what a charitable order we is, an'
if we don't do no paradin' whos goin to care to jine ?"
The patriarch then ended the discussion with:
"D(^ interruptin' brudder has lived a couple of hun-
THE SOJ^g OF SET^EGAMBIAN SIMIANS 43
dron years too soon ; why, even white sassieties don't
give up parade money fur fool charity no one ever
In another organization of white men there was
a matter of fact secretary who wanted to run things
too much his own way, and was a crank concerning
new ideas no one had ever thought of but himself.
Fpon returning from a funeral of a former organ-
ist of the society, the secretarj^ reminded the members
that the undertaker's bill and banquet at two dollars
a plate figured up about $500, and suggested that at
least another hundred dollars should be appropriated
to the widow and her children, as they were penniless.
'No one responded.
The secretary was surprised, but repeated the rea-
son for the appeal, and added that she was a very
respectable and worthy person, as all present Imew,
and her cupboards, walls and floor were bare and she
had nothing to buy food for her family.
Xot a sound.
The peppery secretary was mad : '^Will no one
second the motion ?" He asked. As silence continued
he pointed to one after the other, asking : ^^Won't you
second it ?"
^ Won't you ? or you ? you ? you ? you ?"
They were dead ones.
Peppery took off his regalia collar and slammed it
down on the desk, with: "I am no longer a member
of the order !"
Long years afterward another assembly turned
44 ruiN" i.-^r a boctcr^s life
down Peppery's suggestion that eases of suspected
suffering should be investigated and aid given even
though no application were made, as deserving per-
sons entitled to help frequently preferred starvation
to being under obligations to any one; even though
the order claimed to help worthy members. Such
folks, he reminded them were foremost in assisting
others but would never claim help for themselves.
Tn fact, one needy member replied when asked
why he would not accept assistance that belonged to
him: "Yes, and have it thrown up to me every day
of my life, and be handicapped in all business there-
after. [N'o, thanks!'^
Peppery was making himself unpopular by object-
ing to the too free use of the funds by a select few,
the other members remaining neutral, even saying
nothing when the coterie jumped on Peppery for his
suggestions. But rings watch for opportunities to
get even, and when Peppery found a widow of a mem-
ber sick, helpless, with no money, having no means
to pay railway fare to where she might have aid,
the committee reported gleefully that she was not
worthy as she had an able bodied son who was work-
ing in a restaurant. ^NTow things superficially stated
may sound badly for an applicant, and it is the un-
charitable way to always construe things against the
needy. Tt was true she did have an able bodied son,
a chap 20 years old, who was at work when the
committee called on her, but that son had been six
weeks sick near to death and was bravelv trying to
THE SONS OF SEA^EGAMBIAN SIMIANS 45
keep on his feet, the mother and son parting with all
they had even prospectively, when both were disabled
After the committee report had been received, the
committee discharged with thanks, the matter of a
Fourth of July parade was taken up and appropria-
tions galore rushed through.
Aggregate human nature is made up of individ-
ual human nature. There was an old druggist
whose face smiled benignly perennially, and whose
heart was on his sleeve with beaming charitableness.
But, lo and behold, let a beggar approach, and the
mask dropped. Hard, harsh lines and a scowl re-
pelled the mendicant, who was lucky if he got off
without a free opinion of tramps, bums and similiar
imdesirables. And all this when knowing absolutely
nothing about the seedy person, or waiting for him
to ask for aid.
As Bulwer says :
Tis a right good world to live in;
To lend, to spend, or to give in;
But to beg, or to borrow, or to get a man's own,
'Tis the damnedest world that ever was known.
Mexicans and Indians of many tribes swarmed
the plains and mountains in the fifties, and before
there was such a place as Denver T was at Pike's
Peak and saw the early prospectors thronging there.
Pat Casey was a rich mine owner, and to be one
of '^Colonel Casey's night hands," was a password.
He bought his mine from men who had abandoned
it on reaching bed rock, but Casey ignorantly worked
through bed rock and struck it rich. His managers
could not steal him poor. He could not write his
name, and gave great sums to anyone who flattered
his vanity: for instance, boot blacks calling him col-
onel got ten dollars for it. He paid $300 for one
night's use of the bridal chamber in a New York
hotel, sleeping alone in the gorgeous bod with his
Several other instances of sudden fortune, usually
with return to poverty were known to me.
An angry Mexican mayor domo, as wagonmasters
are called, threatened me with a knife and called me
a "danmed American." The title amused me so
much I laughed, as the possibility of such a thing had
AMONG MEXICANS 47
never occurred to me. Boj like, I thought any other
people could be damned but our own. The following
year I met the same Mexican in Kansas City, and
as I had on an army uniform he was greatly per-
turbed and apologized, but I dismissed the matter
with, "el es nada," it^s nothing.
Those scamps of many colors, mixed with In-
dians, Moors, Spanish and Africans, are picturesque,
but when I first saw Las Vegas I wanted my mother,
and was awfully homesick. They were so utterly
foreign in everything.
A respectable white Sonoran, Senor Don Epifanio
Aguirre, took me over the plains and paid me a sal-
ary out of proportion to my services, and it gave
me a swell-head that later happenings had to subdue.
He was courting an American lady, and as I wrote
his Spanish and English letters, he came to trusting
me with translating his letters to his sweetheart, but
the fulsome Spanish idiom does not admit of literal
change to English words, and he knew enough English
to know that I had anglicized the sentiment of his
love letters too coldly, as he thought, so he asked me
to make a literal translation, and I did to his admira-
tion, and he resisted all my arguments that he would
be ridiculous in her eyes if he sent it; but he was
obstinate and did so ; then she requested him to write
in Spanish and she would have her father's clerk
translate for her. She seemed to think it a trick
of mine, as when younger I had been sweet on her
myself. • -•
48 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
About as pretty a sentiment to be found in Span-
ish is a little verse:
Saber lo mucho que te a mo
Si contares las flores del suelo,
Las estrellas que cubran al cielo,
Y las olas que baten la mar.
Which is about the only thing of the kind in that
language I ever found capable of almost literal trans-
lation into English with preservation of sense. Try-
ing my hand at the change to our tongue I succeeded
to this extent:
To know how much I love thee.
Thou must count the earth's flowers o'er,
The stars that shine in the heavens
And the waves that beat on the shore.
Several old time songs I frequently heard in
those days I find are imknown to the Mexicans of
today, so I may be pardoned for wishing to perpet-
uate a couple of them. One was an old love song:
una canta de amor:
El corazon me palpite.
Al oir tu dulce voz,
Quando la sangre se advierte,
Se pone en agitaeion.
Tu eres la mas hermosa,
Tu eres la luz del dia,
Tu eres la estrella mia,
Tu eres mi dulce amor.
Que importa que noche y dia,
En te sola estoy pensando,
El corazon palpitando,
No cesa de repirtir.
Negro tienes tu cabello,
Tu taille linda y airosos,
Manos blancos, pies preciosos,
Tom aire tienes al fin.
AMONG MEXICANS 4:9
Meaning that he was terribly agitated over her
beauty and his heart would not behave itself. The
chorus is very pretty and the air like our modem
rag time: syncopated.
xi teamster's song tells of a child talking to her
mother, that here come the wagoners, mother, they
are nearing the lagoon, and the wagoner in front,
mother, is already making a fire:
Ya vienen los carreros, mamma,
Llegando a la laguna,
Y el carrero delante, mamma,
Llegando haciendo lumbre.
x\t Albuquerque the big merchant of that period,
Senor Don Ambrosio Armijo, who was red-headed,
a rare thing among Mexicans, asked me to come to
his house to see a piano he had brought across to
Taos and then to Albuquerque at much expense* It
had only been opened to dust it, as no one knew how
to play on it. I sat down on the stool, causing
wunder at the screw adjustment for height, a mystery
previously to them, and having been taught some
accompaniments by my sister, which was about all
my instrumental reportoire, I tinkled off a few Amer-
ican airs and then waded into the ^"Canta de Amor,"
Whirling the stool around, I found the floor filled
with squatted Mexicans, called in by admiring Armi-
jos, and the family wanted me to stay and teach la
senor a music at a prodigious salary. My inborn
ciWl sendee instincts revolteti at making a humbug
50 rujsr in a doctok^s life
of myself, pretending to teach what I did not know,
and I told Armijo that if he advertised in a 'New
York paper for a music teacher at that salary, $300
a month, the plains would be covered with excellent
ones breaking their necks to get to him. Remember
it was fifty years ago.
I wintered once with the Cheyenne tribe which
was warring with the T^tes in Colorado, and observed
that the vaunted Indian remedies were hocus pocus
nonsense, like osteopathy, Christian science and other
fakes. A few things they did were serviceable, but
most of their medicine was repulsive or consisted in
scaring devils of disease with noises. My feet were
frost-bitten once and an old squaw chewed up some
rabbit manure and applied it in my moccasins, with
soothing and curative results, but the most of their
other "remedies'' are ineffective, superstitious and
How mystery is liked by those who think the
Indians "know it all !"
Another popular mistake is that the Indian is
dignified. Quite the contrary, he has boyish love of
fun, and constantly plays pranks and invents coarse
jokes. Some of their nicknames are too filthy to
General Sherman's remark that "war is hell'' can
be realized as true by those only who participated in
Yet, incidentally, comic situations occur, and
yells of laughter may go up in battles, as when at the
seige of Xashville I saw one of our bomb-shells meet
a rebel shcJl about half way between us, taking it
out of each other harmlessly for either side ; the ex-
treme rarity of such a thing making our armies at
confronting lines of earthworks, caper and yell with
delight and surprise ; but over went a lieutenant of
artillery who had been waiting for his 12 pounder to
cool, seated near the embrasure reading an Ohio news-
paper some weeks old. He was shot by a sharp-
shooter while peeping along his cannon to see what
impression other gunners' shots were making in
riddling the cupola of a distant seminary where the
rebel sharpshooters aimed at us. A surgeon and I
were on horses in the first day's fight, looming up
like pictures of fool generals abo'^e the embankment,
in ways generals never dc. An eld artillery serg-
eant walked to us, saluting and suggesting; "Grentle-
mcn, you had better move your horses down hill;
them sharpshooters is gettin' your range.*'
We then recalled having heard the zip, zips in
52 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
the branches and leaves over head, and as we had
no business there anyv^ay we took his advice. ^^Pap
Thomas' " headquarters were in the old Acklin place
below the outer line of fortifications, and a pictur-
esque pagoda tower served the mansion as a water
Going back to my barracks I heard that Andy
Johnson, the military governor of the State, had been
captured by a squad looking for citizens to dig earth-
works. The old chap was fond of his joke and never
said anything in protest, but, as they passed his yard
gate he slid in and bolted it, and probably the sold-
iers never saw his escape, as they were busy gathering
up others for the press gang.
My boys presented me with a petition to be per-
mitted to leave the barracks and go to the front. This
sort of thing was quite common, and the adjutant
general to whom it was referred ordered us on picket
duty that night, and we had all we wanted of that
rumpus before we got through the second day's fight.
Awhile before this an Ohio regiment was camped
near my barracks and the officers were very friendly,
especially Colonel Hurd, who had lost a brother in
Andersonville prison, and whose life seemed embit-
tered in consequence. His regiment had been raised
in Cleveland and he had a vacancy he wanted me to
fill, the major's position, and sent to the Governor of
Ohio for my commission, which came in due time
and was celebrated by a feast at my barracks, the
i^ctjniiting reodez^^oois of the Sta-te.
SOLDIER FUN 53
A day or so later came a telegram recalling the
commission, as the men of the regiment claimed the
right to select their own officers from that part of
Ohio, and as my folks were from near Cincinnati,
the difference in location cut me cut; but the poor
captain who served as major in thai regiment, with
about half of Colonel Hurd's men, was killed at the
battle of !N"ashville a few days later in a charge after
General Hood on his retreat.
When Hood was investing Nashville the rebs we
captured said the queerest sound they had heard for
years was the crowing of roosters, and when my boys
seated some captives at the long commissary table
and fed them well, they gazed in amazement, exclaim-
ing: "White bread!'' why we were told you Yanks
were starving to death, and didn't have even the corn
pones we lived on."
The penitentiary stone quarry was filled with
thousands of rebel prisoners taken in that battle, and
soldiers on guard above the big hole called out that
John Morgan had been captured. The yell of deri-
sion and cries of "Liars," and "Like hell, he is,"
showed their faith in Morgan's invincibility; but he
was shot later at Greenville, Tenn., in escaping
A travesty of Tannenbaum, a German college
song, was sung in war times:
John Morgan's foot is on thy shore,
Kentucky, oh, Kentucky ;
His hand is at thy stable door,
Kentucky, oh, Kentucky,
54 FUN^ IX A DOCTOli's LllTJEi
The same air was used for ''Maryland, my Mary-
land," tli<jugh the tune is one that was sung in Germ-
any before there was a Maryland.
A darkey rushed into my camp about thirty miles
from the Tennessee river with the news that: ''You
gemman better get outer here quick, fer Pettijohn wid
a hundred million men is after you, and he cuts heads
off and puts 'em on poles wid 'dis is de way Petti-
john serves nigger lovers' writ underneaf."
As I had only thirty men at the time, being on a
scout, I took his advice, being greatly outnumbered,
reaching and crossing the river at Johnsonville in
time to hear his "millions" on the shore we had just
The negroes seldom betrayed a federal soldier,
as they realized then that though we were not fight-
ing expressly to free them, their freedom was inci-
dental to the war. They were "contraband of war,"
and were confiscated as cotton was.
An old "sanctified" white lady in slavery times
used to come from her Sunday meetings and cruelly
fiog niggers the rest of the day ; but fifty years later
the wife of a civil war veteran happened to say some-
thing about "niggers' 'in a crowd of them coming
from a "holiness" meeting of their own, and a "sanc-
tified" wench cussed and rip})ed and objurgated
'"dirty w^hite trash wid one foot in de grave, and de
odder orter be dere," all merely for incautiously call-
ing them by a name they call each other.
The veteran himself getting off a street car was
SOLDIER FUN 55
tripped up purposely by a prize fighting darkey, who
could not use filthy enough language to the old soldier
for remonstrating, ending by saying he wasn't alive in
the civil war and didn't ax any one to free him.
This display is to convince us ^'dat dey are jiss as
good as any dam white man."
They esteemed themselves by money value in
times before the war, as when a flock of ^^cullud
pussons" was being baptized through holes in the ice-
covered Ohio river near Louisville, when one greasy
saint slipped through the grasp of the officiating
baptizer into the hole and disappeared, but bobh. d
up through a distant hole from w^hich he was pulled
with the indig-nant remark that ^^Some gemman is
go'in to lose a mity fine nigger, one of dese days, wid
A combination war and camp meeting song in
the sixties ran:
Stand up saints in de middle,
Fall in dinners on de flanks.
And we'll all 0t a pensicHi.
And a'onrable mention.
What stan' up stiddy in de ranks.
A soldier has to go where he is ordered, and con-
solidating of regiments after battles brought me from
scouting duty in upper Missouri to quartermaster
clerking in Benton barracks, St. Louis, then to Fort
Peabody near ^ew Madrid, and recruiting service
in St. Joseph, Mo., and then to join the Engineer
Corps constructing railways and bridges from Xash-
ville to the Tennessee river] then on Sherman's
56 FU]^ IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
march to the sea, from which I was turned back hy
promotion to a lieutenancy, to get into the seige and
battle of TsTashville; later ordered to North Carolina
to make a juncture with General Grant, who was sur-
rounding General Lee's army in its last stand at
Sometimes in comfortable barracks from which
at a minute's notice we had to march dusty roads in
a broiling sun with parched throats, and on forced
marches going to sleep in the ranks supported by
comrades' elbows in touch with the mechanical, mo-
notonous swing of the soldier's step till shocked sud-
denly awake by passing through cold streams breast
high ; throwing oneself by the road when resting to
go profoundly asleep till the fife and drum pulled
you together again. It is wonderful what a band can
do on a march. We have dropped, "dead tired" from
a long march, exjiecting to make camp for a few days
in a certain place, and after thinking we could not
go a step farther the regimental musicians would
start into an inspiriting air, a national one, the
bugles would get us in ranks again, and the colors
let fly at the head of the column, and to the tune of
'^The Girl I Left Behind Me," we started afresh for
several miles more Ix^fore camping.
In actual battle there is no band playing except
in books; the musicians then carry litters for the
wounded, but in forming columns for attack the boys
step out lively to music: "Yankee Doodle," "Star
Spangled Banner," " Hail Columbia."^ At the second
SOLDIER ¥VN 5?
dav^s fight in N'ashville, from the center of onr posi-
tion I saw an army winding over the hills from Fort
Negley, many thousand strong, going to the final
defeat of Hood, who said he was bound for I^^ashville
or hell on coming in sight of our fortifications; and
as he started for Texas the last we heard of him, we
have been able to locate the two places as contiguous
ever since. Our right wing extended clown the Cum-
berland river to Harjieth shoals, from which cavalry
joined the routing of the Confederates in their last
visit to Tennessee. The division marching from Ft.
Negley was like an enormous black snake, our army
blue appearing black far off, as the column waved en
echelon over the hills till in chasing the rebels from
their entrenchments it became a vast smoky cloud,
with high dust columns rising from cavalry charges
on the other side of our center.
Speaking of music influence, though : when we
were mustered out at Knoxville, Tennessee, by orders
from the War Department at the end of the war, in
our last march as we went to the paymaster's, where
we dissolved, the last tune we heard from our band
was ''Home Again," and the boys blubbered like
babies, even some poor old soldiers who had no home
to go to and maybe never had one.
As one by one the boys were paid off and departed
the company dog ran after first one then another, and
howled in despair as company "K" perished from
il^DIAI^S A^D GOLD M^ES.
When the Civil War ended a big slice of the rebel
army went to Montana, they were said to be the whole
"left wing of Price's army/' but at the same time
there came the worst set of highwaymen the west had
known, and whether they were previously rebs or not
is known to but few. There were vigilance committee
hangings in great numbers, one of the most active in
such events was X. Beidler, the assistant U. S. Mar-
At the Indian fur trading post of Ft. Benton, 18
miles below the falls of the Missouri river, a small
garrison of regular soldiers occupied the adobe bar-
racks with bastions at the angles, in one of which I
found relics of the Lewis & Clark expedition uf
President Jefferson's time. Buffalo robes were
traded for goods by the Indians, and these pelts
tanned were shipped down the river and plentiful
enough to cost but a couple of dollars up to $20
ordinarily, but a white robe was priceless, I saw but
one such albino. I have been on steamboats that had
to tie up to the bank till a herd of buffaloes miles in
length swam the river, and in Colorado and Kansas
in the fifties I saw the prairie covered with these
animals going north, and our wagons were coralb d
INDIANS AND GOLD MINES 59
three days to allow them to pass, keeping our cavo-^
yard or oxen inside the eircle of wagons, the ^'corall,'^
and the roar of the rushing feet and trembling of the
ground for this time was like thunde^r and an earth-
quake. As far as the eye could se(^ in any direction
the buffaloes covered the flat prairie, and not a blade
of grass was left where they had passed. Indians
and whites alike ruthlessly exterminated these ani-
mals merely for the ^'sport.^'
My mother had a hotel on the river bank in Ft.
Benton, and the house was rented fi'om a couple of
merchants, one on each side of the hotel, and when
it was ascertained that no liquor was to be sold in
our place, at once a gambling and drinking saloon
was put up next door to us. These merchants violated
the Indian intercourse laws by selling rot-gut whiskey
for buffalo robes, and they evaded the revenue laws
by smuggling unstamped whiskey, they also skinned
customers, including hot( 1 keepers who bought goods
of them at the outrageous prices of that place and
time. Miners used to mention crucifixion between
two thieves as similar to our situation.
All business was done during the two months when
the steamers came up from St. Louis, the remainder
of the year we were frozen up. But expeditions were
sent out to Belly river and the Saskatchewan above
the British line to trade with Indians in spite of the
international prohibition of such trade. And worse
still, so-called whiskey was the main commodity for
trading ; the Indians would sell anything at any price
60 TVN m A DOCTOR^S LIFE
for a cup of intoxicants, their tanned skins of deer,
buffaloes, wolves or coyotes, their ponies, lodges and
even their wives. But they revenged themselves when
sober, so a trading company had to be very quick or
very strong to escape vengeance. Many massacres
Were created by such swindling of the Indians, espe-
cially by government Indian agents, politicians.
When I was United States ganger I determined
the character of this whiskey business to be inex-
pressibly foul, and concluded to fight it every way
possible, so I had several lots of liquor condemned
and forfeited to the government either as beastly
chemicals with tobacco juice and fusel oil in cologne
spirits, diluted heavily with water and red peppered
up to scrape the throat, or it was strong spirit used to
make hundreds of barrels out of one, but on which
revenue had not been paid. I had the fun of emptying
hundreds of barrels of the first kind into the Missouri
river and sending as much more of the other sort up to
Helena under guard, forfeited for absence of revenue
stamps. One politician who became a senator to the
Ignited States congress would not give up his fraudu-
lent whiskey till I had a file of soldiers led by a corp-
oral placed at my orders by the commander of the
Then as deputy collector of internal revenue I
carried on the warfare against rotten whiskey, and
finally as United States Court Commissioner (one
office at a time, only) I presided over trials of viola-
tion of Indian intercourse laws and bottomrv admir-
INDIANS AND GOLD MINES 61
altj cases concerning steamboat troubles. Only in
inj biggest case, where I had sent a company of sold-
iers to overtake a wagon train crossing the British
line and brought back the wagons to Benton, the
stockade of a merchant not supposed to be interested
in the deal was used to imprison the goods, and the
merchant and his men by working all night removed
all evidence of the whiskey trading.
As judge of the probate court no orphan or
widow was allowed to be swindled while I held the
office ; both in Montana and Dakota Territories crim-
inal and civil laws were codified, so that we were not
bothered with a lot of common law misinterpreta-
tions, and if these Codes did not suit my ideas of
equity I decided as justly as I was capable.
Probably not as arbitrarily as ''czar Reed'^ and
*Wall St. Cannon" did in the House of Representa-
tives, though possibly as much so as the justice in
Idaho in those times when a horse thief was being
tried. His honor cut proceedings short by saying:
''Constable take this man out and hang him."
The amazed lawyer for the prisoner ejaculated:
"Why, your honor can't make such a ruling as
"Can't, eh! well just look at the docket!"
As probate judge I performed the marriage cere-
mony at three weddings, one on a newly arrived
steamboat, the bride coming to Montana to marry
a Helena banker, and this marriage turned out well,
taking the cuss off the three, for the others did not
62 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
turn out so well. One was a gambler who got a divorce
later, due it was said to her being on the wrong side
for the bride when standing up at the ceremony, and
the other was altogether unfortunate. During a
cold winter a young man came to me and asked me
to come to a certain cabin that evening to marry him.
As I knew everyone in the settlement I thought it
strange, but concluded some lady must have come
over the frozen hills on the mail buck board, a haz-
ardous trip in several ways, as Indians were begin-
ning to be hostile on the route.
At the house I found several well known citizens
and the groom and asked him the usual preliminary
questions as to his name and residence, then asked
him the name of the lady, his intended wife ; he
colored and kicked his heels in an embarrassed man-
ner against the bunk he sat on, and to my astonish-
ment replied : ^^Damfino !" All T could do was to ask
him to please find out. He went into another room
and returned after a conference with his friends,
giving me some French-Canadian name as that of
his intended. When she came in T protested, for
I recognized her as the wife of a villainous half-breed
called '^Star," who was alive yet. But the witnesses
claimed that she was not married to ^'Star,'' so there
was nothing to do but comply. The wood chopper
took his new wife to near the Missouri Falls and
soon a Sioux Chief named '^Left Hand" called at his
cabin to forcibly abduct '^Star's" wife, but when the
woodman shot at the Indian a friend present threw
INDIANS AND GOLD MINES 63
the gim up, and the savage left vowing to finish
things later; and he carried out his threat, for a
general massacre took place on Sun river and around
Benton, and the whites made reprisals by hanging
Indians, and things got so lively that Captain Baker
went with a cavalry troop to the Marias river and
wiped out a village of hostile Blackfeet Sioux, for
which his eastern friends ostracized him. When sur-
veying I met some of the same tribe, but though thty
may have felt like doing things they refrained.
One morning looking from my window in Benton
I saw a man hanging from some lodge poles on a
flat piece of land near my house. Just above his
hands tied behind his back, was a large card with
^'Vigilance Committee" on it.
He was one of the night watch of the town, had
waylaid and robbed a stranger who, recovering from
the assault intended to kill him and reporting to
the vigilance committee, he was secreted and the night
watch was tried in his absence and then sent for and
told that a murder had been committed, and tha man
who did it was to be hung and they gave him some
fictitious name. The night watch actually got a rope
and a box to stand the man to be hung on, and made
the noose, throwing the rope over the top of the
Indian lodge poles where they w^ere tied, and placing
the box looked around with : '^Where is the man to be
hung." He was grabbed and put on the box, and it
was kicked from under him before he could finish
his yell of fright at being discovered.
64 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
All my life I have noticed this willingness of
miscreants, particularly the political sort, to make
innocent suffer even to death for their own crimes.
The officers of the military post at the fort asked
me to go with them to a picnic once to the great falls,
and I did so, but as they grew drunk I warned them
they should keep their senses, as at any moment a
hostile band of Sioux might descend on us, but they
were too hilarious to care, and I dug out for home
afoot, leaving the ambulance for them.
Crawling up hill after hill, Indian fashion, and
looking all around for Indians, I would then descend,
keeping off the traveled road till I had gone the 18
miles, and just as the sun declined arrived opposite
Benton ; but our yawl had been taken to the other
I saw King, the telegraph operator, leaning, hands
in pocket, at his door, and he was the only one visi-
ble, and it took some time for mc to get his notice
across the mile wide river. Finally I got a tree
branch and wig-wagged in Morse code to him to send
over the boat quickly. He waved O. K. and ran down
to the bank of the river, soon bringing the yawl over
to me. It would have compelled me to stay all night
in that Indian infested place had I known no signal
means of informing my friend.
The officers, sober enough the next morning, made
a hazardous escape into Fort Shaw on the Sun river,
as the Indians cut them off from Benton.
Soon aftpr this I went on a sun'ey of the mili-
INDIANS AND GOLD MINES 65
tary reservation and made about five hundred dollars
for so doing, leaving the hotel in charge of a strange
clerk who stole about that amount from the money
drawer. So things are evened up, the law of compen-
sation enabling the rich man to get his ice in the
summer while the poor man gets his in the winter,
and no one has a short leg without the other being long
enough to make up for it.
"What the clerk stole I evened up on my survey,
and had I staid at home and done my own clerking
I wouldn't have made any more than I did, for I
couldn't then have done the surveying. J^othing like
optimism, unless it is idiocy.
A mishap that recalls my anxiety to earn all I
could to pay my way through medical college, and at
the request of an express agent at a small town called
Elk Point in Dakota Territory, who wanted to leave
there to see his dying father, I took charge of his
office, but as he was in a great hurry and there was
no time to check up before the train came on which
he jumped I signed a receipt for everything and took
it for granted he was honest.
I earned about thirty dollars in his absence toward
my college expenses, but out of this I had to pay the
express company thirty-five dollars for ^'Old Horse"
shortage he had stolen. I used to wonder if he would
chuckle over his good fortune in skinning a sucker
when he sat on live coals and brimstone subsequently
for the trick.
The miners carried buckskin bags for their gold
66 FUN IN A DOCTOk's LIFE
dust instead of coin and poured tlie dust into a pan
called a blower, whence, after having the black sand
removed, it was weighed on small scales. I used to
grub-stake wandering prospectors on shares, but if
they ever found pay gold they did not report. The
place I lived in at White Hall, on a small stream,
afforded ''color" to every spadeful, but not enough
for panning or cradling, though pay gulches were all
around us. Years after I left White Hall I was
told that hydraulic mining there made many mill-
ions. We were literally walking over wealth unat-
tainable by ordinary mining methods. But prices
were awfully high and my brother-in-law Eastman,
in charge of the Fur Company at Benton, used
to say that he did not like a country
where dried apples was a luxury. Once flour
ran to a hundred dollars for a hundred pound sack;
one merchant hiding his supply hoping it would more
than double that price, but the miners when he
refused a hundred and fifty confiscated the whole
supply covered by hay-stacks.
I saw a miner come to the International Hotel in
Helena before the fire destroyed the town, handing
Jules Germain, the owner, his gold sack to weigh out
enough dust for a night's lodging. Jules blew the
pan, and poured out nearly an ounce, when the miner
asked his terms and was told that fifteen dollars was
due for breakfast and bed. "I only had a bed," said
the miner, but as he did not get up to breakfast till
too late it was to be paid for anyway. ''You charge
india:ns and gold mines 67
high," said the gold hunter. ^^My rent is high,"
replied Germain. ''But you don't expect a night's
lodging to pay a year's rent," was the retort. The
miner drew his pistol with the advice to put that
dust back in the sack. Germain did so, went to the
door and told the stage driver to hand do^vn the
baggage of this man. The miner covered the driver,
who did nothing, and the stage went off with a land-
lord minus an unreasonable demand.
I have deeds and stock to about fifty thousand
dollars face value in Xevada mines and would sell
them all for a five dollar bill. I got them on horse
trades and saddle swaps ; but I saved the thousand
dollars or more taxes I didn't pay.
Every store had a bottle of muriatic acid to test
gold with, and some scamps substituted water in a
saloon keeper's vial for the acid. He wondered at
business being so good, and the brass filings ^'didn't
fizz" when the bartender tested the ^^pay dust."
One beautiful day in spring I rode my little black
California morgan horse to Virginia City from White
Hall, and had no sooner arrived than a blizzard
began, but I talked over the wire to the station and
the operator told me that my two year old little girl
had met with an accident, and before he had time
to explain further the line broke. In spite of mj
friends insisting on my not risking the storm I
mounted and ran over the Bald range of the
irtockies in the face of one of the fiercest snow storms
the country has known, hundreds perished in it in
68 F\JN IN" A DOCTOR''s LIFE
the territory. I gave Katj the reins, as I could see
nothing, and she danced over the hills to Jefferson
river station, and I v^as carried into the ranch frozen
stiff and v^as months in recovering. The baby had
shut a massive door on her little finger and my v^ife
splinted it; to onr gratification the finger, though
mashed flat, recovered full use and symmetry, due
to the cartilaginous and not osseous development at
It took sixty-seven days to go up the Missouri on
the boat Mountaineer, but we returned in much less
time down stream. One of my fellow passengers
was a boarder of mine at the hotel who skipped his
bill, and the porter said his trunk was too heavy to
bring down; it was full of gold, or maybe bricks.
An investigation revealed that it was screwed to the
floor and empty.
It was useless to even refer to the matter, so
we chatted of other things and I heard the boom of
the six pounder on the shore and saw some bon-fires
lighted as our boat swung into the stream and started
down to civilization, and asking him if he knew what
it meant he assured me that the saloon keepers were
rejoicing over my departure from the territory.
OLD SAINT LOUIS.
IJntil the beginning of the Civil War the custom
of making calls on Xew Yearns day persisted as evi-
dence of the Darwinian theory of our descent.
Troops of young men roamed the streets visiting
young ladies who from tables spread in their parlors
pressed them to eat dainties, and from well stocked
sideboards plied their boy friends with drink that
formed life long bad habits for many.
It was the thing to be tipsy that day, to fall out
of and into houses to the laughter of girls and
matrons; respectable people who merely followed the
custom for want of ability to think, just as we permit
paupers, insane and criminals to be made by rum-
sellers in this century.
In 1855 the post office and a block of stores faced
the river and on Main street, behind them on the
<jomer of Market street, was the Merchants Exchange,
and that constituted the most imposing portion of the
business part of St. Louis; later the post office moved
to Olive street above Main, then to Walnut and Third
streets the great three story Custom House, about 30
by 50 feet.
70 FUN IJS" A DOCTOR^S LlFfi
Fourth street was the retail store promenade ;
Almond street was tough. The old Mandan mounds
up the river still remained with a flag on the top, from
which came the name of ''Mound City." Beer gar-
dens surrounded the spot. This was Frenchtown where
the Germans lived, and down the river near the
arsenal the French lived in Germantown, reminding
me of the Democrat, the favorite newspaper of Re-
publicans, and the Republican patronized mainly by
Democrats. An instance of ''lucus a non.'^
As a boy I went hunting beyond 15th street,
where sink-holes abounded, in some of which boys
swam in summer and over which they skated in
winter. My gun was rainbow hued; yellow stock,
red barrels, blue butt and green hammers. Seeing
a flock of geese overhead while swimming once, I
got to shore, waded to the middle of the pond, placed
the gun on my shoulder straight upward, and when
the geese came in range let off both barrels, making
a good imitation of a pile driver, for I was rammed
downward into the muddy bottom, leaving my varie-
gated fowling piece to be discussed by antiquarians
centuries hence, as I was too much occupied in escap-
ing the smother of sink-hole mud. That ended my
desire to hunt birds, and trying rabbits in the winter,
shooting between fence rails with grm butt against
my abdomen, finished my discouragement of sport
altogether, for the gun kicked my meals up.
Real lager beer was stored away in caves that
abounded in the geological formation of that part of
OLD SAINT LOUIS Yl
Missouri, and one of the famous resorts remembered
by all old St. Louis people was Uhrig's Cave, where
the boys of the city went "to see the Dutch girls
dance," and the whirling waltzes of that era of hoop
skirts afforded the kids amusement enough to fill
the benches along the dancing room sides.
Grand avenue was in the country, and once a
county fair there was broken up by a severe rain
storm, cabmen charged $20 and even $100 for rides
back to the city and safety, throngs tramped through
the muddy roads and some perished in the ditches.
The old Billy Barlow estate, near Shaw's garden,
was bought by my uncle. Captain John J. Koe, on
Lafayette avenue, and nearer town was '^Cracker
Castle," owned by a cracker manufacturer. These
regions had much vacant land but are now solidly
built up. Choteau avenue was the approach to that
part of the suburbs.
Choteau, Harrison and Yalle were the great fur
dealers and starters of "voyageurs" up the river thou-
sands of miles to trade with Indians, pulling, or cor-
delling, as it was called, flat boats to the head-
waters with trading supplies, bringing down great
loads of furs.
I recollect an old merchant named D. A. January
who at nearly 90 married an 18 year old girl, and
the youngsters expressed the wish that he would
break his blamed old bones when he frisked around so
boyishly with his bride.
The dress of that time was broadcloth and doe-
72 FUS" IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
skins with tight boots, which passed to the waiters,
finally, and gave way to hobtail diagonals and pants
so tight you had to be melted into them.
The old fashioned dress of my grandfathers' days
I saw but once in that city, on an old ^'left over." He
had a peruke tied with ribbon behind, powdered hair,
and big silver shoe buckles with short clothes or
''smalls" and worsted stockings. Old John H. Lucas,
with his big patches of mutton chop whiskers high
on his cheek bones under his eyes, was a distin-
guished part of the landscape.
I heard one of the banker Benoist Brothers say
to the other, as he hung up his hat behind the counter
of their little bank : ''The convention has nominated
Abraham Lincoln for President," and they seemed
so excited and pleased that I wondered why, never
having heard the name before. My first vote was
for his re-election, when I was a lieutenant in the
Ben DeBar's theatre was the great resort then and
Maggie Mitchell played "Fanchon," when the first
Atlantic cable was announced as completed by the
manager and the people were so enthusiastic that
they did not remain to another act. Forty years
later president Mitchell of the Chicago and
Northwestern railway died in Wisconsin at 85 years
of age, and the papers said he was the youngest son
of Maggie Mitchell. I saw her at the "New Theatre,"
in Nashville, during the war and thought her young
then, but on the street she looked ancient enough.
OLD SAINT LOUIS 73
Acting seems to preserve many to generations of
The State Savings Institution on Main street was
the great bank, larger than any other west of the Alle-
ghenies. In the days of wild cat currency, before
greenbacks Were provided, Johnny McCluney, Obe-
diah Owen and I were the collectors, there being no
clearing houses, and we often had as much as a mill-
ion dollars to handle in a day, from other banks, from
the sub-treasury, customers or depositors, and sort-
ing for redemption by banks of issue. Bankable funds
meant Missouri bank notes, worth about 90 cents on
the dollar; currency meant the notes of other States,
as Illinois, worth about 60 cents, and banks of States
farther away were as low as 25 cents. Specie in-
cluded gold and silver. With all this confusion and
chance for stealing, I never heard of any wrong doing
by an employee, but we protected one another jeal-
ously in all rights and privileges. Promotions for
merit were the rule. Our cashier was Isaac Rosen-
feld, Jr., who had one of those chevaux de frise signa-
tures he thought proof against imitation when there
was not a clerk in the bank who could not make the
picket fence scrawl so he could not have told it from
his own. Years later he failed for a million in gold
in 'New York. We had tiers of iron vaults in which
the then new Herring safes were placed with letter
combinations. Burglars chafed the floor of our money
vault from a store beneath to let our Herring through
the floor into the sewer, thence by a raft to Bloody
t4 rUN IK A BOCTOR^S LIFE
Island, where they planned to break into it at leisure,
but our night watch heard and broke up the game.
His name was Walsh.
As a member of the State l!Tational Guard I began
my military career till the Camp Jackson capture
of General Flood, who hoped to run us off to General
Price's army but found insuperable difficulties in half
the men being Unionists instead of all leaning toward
the South. The "Sesech" and "Loyal" encounters at
the war outbreak rended families and made great con-
HU:tfGEY AND THIESTY. \
Hunger is popularly supposed to be more painful ]
than thirst. That is because water is usually so
easily obtained that hunger is more often mentioned
as more common than thirst.
Well, let any person who has suffered for want
of water, particularly on a sandy waste, with a broil-
ing sun overhead, tell you what he knows of the two
privations, for if you are dangerously thirsty you
cannot swallow food without moisture, so you die of
both kinds of privation if you thirst to death.
Fifty years ago there were only big wagons called
prairie schooners, drawn by mules or oxen, that car-
ried freight from Fort Leavenworth or Kansas City
to 'New Mexico.
Eailroads were undreamed of then in most parts
of the world.
A firm of government freight contractors, Eussell,
Majors & Waddell, stretched their ox teams and
wagons incredible distances across the plains; one
train alone filled a road on the level prairie from one
horizon to the other, and they had many such trains.
l^VN IN A BOCTOE S LIFE
Travelers with one to a dozen wagons were fre-
quent in those clays of California and Colorado set-
tling. The question first asked by a German in San
Francisco was usually put to new arrivals of ^^tender-
feet" : "Did you come the plains over, the isthmus
across or the horn around?''
"Outfits/' as these trains were dubbed, drawn
by mules made better time than oxen pulled wagons,
except on sand, the spreading toes of the cattle not
sinking so deeply as the little hoofs did ; so half a mile
to a mile a day was about the mule team rate on a
desert, while oxen pulled sometimes twenty miles a
day. Pony expresses ran a hundred miles a day,
carrying the mails, changing horses where possible;
going the Raton route rather than the Cimmaron or
dry route. Holliday's stages took passengers over the
plains at about ten miles an hour, if Indians, road
agents or ladrohes permitted.
In hilly parts of the Kew Mexico roads you would
come across little piles of stones, cairns, topped with
sticks tied in the form a cross. Passers-by threw a
stone upon the heap to make it larger. Each such
spot marked the grave of a murdered man.
If thrist killed you on the dry route your bones
bleached alongside those of oxen, deer, buffalo, wolves,
dogs, horses and other animals that had perished
from want of water.
This parched, sandy waste was called the Jornada
del Muerte, or Journey of Death ; pronounced Horn-
ada del Mooerty, as near as you can make English
HUNGRY AND THIRSTY 77
spell anything, and the mutations of that name were
comical, for the Gringo or American teamster invar-
iably corrupts Spanish to suit himself and in this
case called the dry route ^'Hornalley/' pointing to
the rows of bones, skulls and horns on each side of
the road to explain the name. Similarly the king's
route, ^'route du roi," became ^'Rotten Row," in Eng-
Sand storms piled dunes in the way around which
it was necessary to wander, and the blistering heat
drew all the water through your skin, parching your
throat and preventing your eating unless with plenty
of water, which was hard to spare, enough of which
could hardly be carried for the teamsters to say
nothing of the animals, who grew visibly weaker and
bonier day by day.
The Cimmaron river ran tortuously under ground
and changed directions so that charts could not be
made. At nights the cold usual in deserts enabled
us to dig for water, maybe striking the sunken river
in a few feet, or more often not finding it at any depth
we could dig. If a well in the sand lasted a day or
two, left by some preceding teamsters, the water was
too brackish with alkali to use, just as sea water is
not drinkable, and digging in the same spot revealed
that the river had wandered away.
Going to bed thirsty and unable to eat or cook
anything is uncomfortable, and makes you dream of
fountains and feasts. Finally your senses go and
frenzy carries you off raving for water.
To FUN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE
ITntil too far away from the river to do so,
xA^guirre, our train owner, sent muleteers with kegs
to fill and bring to us, but the carriers drank much
before we got the water, and their return to camp
became farther into the nights till the kegs were dry,
as no more trips were made. Then it was I saw the
Mexican carreros break up the kegs and actually
suck the staves, so miserably thirsty were they.
Tule Rosa creek was the first stream we came to
the second day without water, crawling out of this
hell with staggering animals and men growing delir-
ious from heat and thirst combined. We were two
weeks crossing the sixty miles of the journey of death.
We had hard work to keep the mules from
jumping with the wagons from the hill over-
looking the stream.
Everything is relative in this world, and I cannot
recall any more beautiful place than this mountain
rivulet, with clear water running over the rocks along
flowery and grassy banks. It was like getting into
paradise, and we loafed there another week. So had
we gone the Raton route we would have saved time
Twenty years later I had a government contract
to survey along the unexplored, Indian haunted reg-
ion of Dakota Territory, that afterward was near the
line between the north and south divisions into states.
Fifty thousand dollars had bsen appropriated for the
work at ten dollars a mile, determining and perma-
nently marking principal meridians and standard par-
HUNGEY AND THIRSTY 79
allels, dividing the coimtrj into ^^checks'' 24 by 42
miles, the longer measure being latitude lines.
Some days I could make thirty miles over the
smooth prairies, level as a floor, often; but I had
thirty men and seven teams to pay for and to provi-
sion, and bad days or hilly places would knock me
down to a mile or less a day, and away went profits.
Timber was not frequent but it also reduced progress.
The magnetic needle was useless owing to iron in the
soil, which was mostly composed of hummucks or
sandy dunes away from the flat plains. Part of my
work was in what was called the bad lands at that
The Bed river of the !N"orth on one side and the
Missouri river on the other side of the land over
which I was to run with two sets of chainmen and a
solar compass, were the only points charted by the
V. S. Land Office. One of my ^'checks" you can see
mapped as Ransom county, through which the Chey-
enne river dips from the north to an abandoned mili-
tary reservation in which was Ft. Ransom, the only
place that knew a white man's foot in those days.
But the river and fort might as well have been in
Joppa for all the information we had about it, as
our charts showed the Cheyenne river running south
across a line far to the north near the British bound-
ary, and far east of this crossing the same line going
north to the Red river, leaving us to imagine that we
would hit the river in two places on a westerly line
south of Ft. Ransom. But day after day the line
80 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
was pushed west toward the Missouri and no river
was seen. What water we had started with gave out,
and hoping to soon have a new supply we went sup-
perless to bed and arose to string out toward the west
without breakfast. A cracker would turn to
a dry powder in the mouth, choking you till
blown away with your breath. Plodding along in
this way the second day without sight of water,
our eyes became sunken, cheeks hollow and tongues
swelled and blackened with cracks, so it was
difficult to talk, and each man grew so irritable
that we were growing irresponsible and liable to fight
Just then a Missourian climbed out of the cook
wagon, shouting that he had found something to
drink, that he was full of water and had found a
camp kettle of boiled rice holding a lot of water, all
of which he had drunk.
The surveyors closed in toward him, and I Imew
full well what that ^'puke's" fate was had I not in-
terfered. They drew revolvers, but I elbowed them
away and painful as it was to speak, I ordered the
fool to leave us and keep half a day's march behind
At the fortieth mile of that check I realized that
the river did not pass as far south as the line we were
running, so abandoning wagons and camp outfit I
ran a ^^blind course^' without measuring northeast-
erly to intercept the river as soon as possible. Driv-
ing the horses before us the}^ smelt the creek long be-
HUNGRY AND THIRSTY 81
for we knew it was near and raced away, dashing
into it and rolling over in it.
The men jumped in with their clothing on, and
I begged them not to swallow the water yet, those who
did so vomited severely. We had to gradually soak
it through our skins. In this way the shipwrecked
manage to filter sea water through to partly quench
the thirst they dare not appease by drinking. Here,
as in ;N'ew Mexico with the other party, time was lost
resting from the hardships of thirst. We cared
nothing for our goods far away, and thought only of
soaking ourselves that night in the lovely water.
Between these two occasions when on marches in
the army through dust and sun canteens were soon
dry and throats were parched, but no such horrible
torture was endured as upon the Mexican plains and
on my survey expedition.
x\s for hunger, there were occasions when food
was long in coming and very well relished in con-
sequence, but in the army in the CUvil War grafters
had not had much if any chance at our food, so as a
rule it was good, such as it was, dessicated vegetables,
hard tack and sow-belly sides of bacon, and being
boys things tasted nearly like home fodder to us.
Once on the plains I lost my way in a snow storm,
and coming to a small stream my mule refused to
cross on the ice. Trying to haul him across by a
lariat fastened to a tree on the other side failing, I
bethought w.e of trying the inducement of burning,
as licking was no use. I lit the only match I had
82 FUN IN A doctor's life
and lie shut his tail down on it and smiled at my
trick. I had to head the arroyo and go around the
creek, and coming to the Arkansas river across which
was the stockade, the obstinate mule saw the cavo-
yard, as herds are cal](?d there, and ran over the
frozen river without urging.
Just like a mule, to balk at crossing a ten foot
frozen creek and unexpectedly run over a thousand
feet of frozen river without hesitation.
Mules afford numerous yarns, among them being
one where a negro had exhausted his temper and
blackguarded the hybrid with: ''You hain't got no
business to be a mule, nohow. Your fadder wasn't
a mule an' your mudder wasn't no mule!"
G(^n. Sheridan told of a mule incident among the
funniest of his happenings. In the army an Irishman
was whacking and spurring an obstinate mule that
cavorted, bucked, sat down and kicked by turns, and
in the manouvering the mule caught his foot in the
stirrup, when Pat says : ''Well, by gorrah, if you are
goin' to get up I'll get off."
But previous to all this I had wandered in the
storm without food for two days, trying to kick up
from beneath the snow the wild onions and potatoes,
little slim tubers that Indians gather and feed on.
Coming across a government mule that had frozen in
the storm I used up all but a final match in making
a twig and buffalo chip fire to try to cook a steak from
the carcass. But I can't recommend mule meat as a
diet. It was like trying to eat one's boots.
HUNGRY AND THIRSTY 83
There is no recollection of anything further in this
line than mere long time between meals occasionally,
nntil in 1871, when I conceived the idea of putting up
a telegraph line between Sioux City and Yankton,
along the Missouri river. I found merchants ready to
subscribe to ^^scrip" and pay for it when the line was
finished, taking their pay for the scrip in telegraph-
ing; the line being a great convenience in a country
isolated as that region was then. My friend, John H.
Charles, advanced the wire and main expense, and
as fast as I finished the line to a town in the route
the merchants b«night the ''scrip" and enabled me to
meet expenses, providing food for my construction
party and paying their wages, though the exchecquer
was pretty close run at times.
Once, when near Elk Point, I gave the men
orders on hotels for their meals, subsequently re-
deemed when collections were easier, but could not
bring myslf to explain to any landlord how I could
not pay cash for my own individual meals. Con-
struction credit depended upon keeping poverty un-
known; but the pinch was there all the same, and
while my men were well provided with eatables, I
simply refrained from indulging a confoundedly in-
convenient appetite till sufficient line had been fin-
ished and payments enabled to the hotel keepers who
trusted me to redeem the orders. Tho incident rather-
amused me, and as it was a sort of voluntary starva-
tion it was not so hard. When the line was finished
there was a banquet and "telegraph ball/' in which
84 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
all concerned were lionized. It would have struck our
hosts as queer that sacrifices had to be made of the
kind told in the course of construction.
Long years afterward I arranged to start a great
private sanitarium in an eastern State, but the pro-
ject was postponed from time to time till abandoned.
But that is another story.
FUK OK SUEVEYS.
When grasshoppers brought a dollar a bushel the
States of Minnesota, ISTebraska and Iowa and Terri-
tories of Dakota and Montana must have tried to dis-
pose of their surplus.
ISTear St. Paul a preacher chased men from his
farm one Sunday for trying to steal his grasshoppers,
but a grafter in Massachusetts made a higher record
for astuteness in cultivating the gypsy moth that the
State offered big pay to exterminate.
Then there were mosquitoes that swarmed from
sloughs in clouds that obscured the sun. My survey
camp was on one of these breeders of mosquitoes one
hot night, and the pests nearly killed us, horses and
all. The poor animals frantically stamped out the
smudges made to protect them, and then tangled them-
selves in our guy tent ropes and brought the tents
down on us. The next morning we were a sick
crowd ; haggard, sleepy, bloody, hot ; too tired to cook
anything, and our horses were skin and bones with
streaks of blood on their sides where they had rubbed
against each other to get rid of the torment.
A township had to be surveyed from that camp
or we would have gone the next day, but the pests
were flown and troubled us only that horrible night.
86 Fuisr la a doctok s life
I have seon clouds of grasshoppers that filled the
sky like a thnnder storm cloud, and where they settled
not a blade of grass or leaf could be found over a
great belt of devastation.
But worst of all, unless we except snow blizzards,
was the plagued Indians with their restless expeditions
and unexpected massacres, usually after some govern-
ment Indian agent had swindled the tribe out of
annuities promised by the United States for vacating
Near the James or Dakota river, at the line
between the two States, which I was running at that
time, long before it became a State line, I noticed the
soil was full of magnetic iron, so much so that where
lightning struck it had vitrified the sand into tubes
a few inches up to several feet in length, making what
geologists call fulgarites or lightning pipes, straight
downward in the sandy soil.
We had heard that the ''Cut Head Sioux" had left
Devil's Lake on a raid, but we had to camp and chance
their finding us. That night a terrible thunder storm
bombard(^d us for hours, and we thought every stroke
of lightning had hit one of the tents, the wet iron sand
however attracted the current better than our dry
tents, and we watched the noisy hours away expect-
ing ''every minute to be our next."
A beautiful morning dawned, and a yell from
the cook brought us out to inspect what he was exam-
ining on the prairie. It was what was called a travoix
track, a wide path or rc»ad, made by th(^ dragging.
I^VN O:^ SURVEYS 87
of Indian lodge poles, one end being tied over their
horses' backs. As near as we could count there must
have been five hundred Indians of the fiercest sort
of Sioux passed our camp in that blinding storm ; and
had the moon been shining the white tents would have
been seen and our thirty men disposed of, though
Indians riding in storms cover their heads with
blankets, and that also helped to keep us from being
They passed south and murdered several ranch-
men on that foray.
The l^orthern Pacific railroad was being built
then, and passing through Fort Seward previous to
this above incident, the news of the bad Indians being
loose scared my outfit so much that most of the men
deserted to get back to civilization. I applied for
soldiers to help fill the deficit, but the commanding
officer refused as his garrison was slim, but he sent a
squad to JimtoT\Ti, which was then a mere railroad
■construction hut village, and gathered up all the
drunken victims of robbing saloon keepers and shang-
haied them for me, putting them in my wagons and
guarding me out of town toward my field of work.
Gradually the old bums came to their senses, and
to a man were grateful for my taking them away, as
ihoj would rather risk the Indians as more merciful
than the rumsellers. I sobered them up on some of
the snake juice they were accustomed to use in Jim-
town, and there was only one tough ease left unrecov-
88 i'UN IN A DOCTOR^S LlI'E
ered. His system was shattered by his drunk, and
when the Jimto^vn rotgut was gone he fell athwart
a couple of gallons of ^'Old Crow," bought for $8 per
gallon in St. Paul, and when that was gone the
Jamaica ginger followed, and I told him that alkali
water from the ponds was all that was left for him
He braced up and I tried to make a flagman of
him, but discovered he was too near sighted, so much
against his wishes I set him at cooking, and return-
ing from a hard day's work the boys were whooping
with delight over the best camp meal any of us had
ever seen. The scamp was a famous Red River of the
North Steamboat cook !
Paying him off at Fort Abercrombie, Minnesota,
he wont on a protracted drunk and was drowned in
the Red river.
During the first part of the seventies I had large
surveying C(mtracts for government work, and made
as much as tw(mty thousand dollars in one season;
but the new surveyor general appeared from Wiscon-
sin and required twenty per cent, of the amounts
apportioned to surveyors and in my case tried also
to get the remaining eighty per cent., forging my
signature in one instance to a United States Treas-
ury check in my absence. I went to Washington and
arranged for a better class of work from the Interior
Department, but I soon found that senators and terri-
torial d (^legates wanted about thirty-five thousand
dollars out of a fifty thousand dollars boundary survey
t'VN OJT SURVEYS Sd
Bouth. of Utah, and the Secretary of the Interior
wanted me to see his son, as I thought the latter might
want the rest so I quit surveying for medicine^
thankful that politicians could not bother the doctors.
The last surveying I did was in Delaware, and the
thrifty shark who employed me, I ascertained, did
not intend to pay for the work. I had had enough of
courts and did not want to share with lawyers what
I would have to sue for, so before the survey was
finished I stopped, and the dead beat afterward said
that the other party to the land purchase got ahead of
him three thousand dollars on the dispute that would
have been settled had I finished.
This descendant of oriental pauper degenerates
brought over by Penn from the Palatinate saved $200
by cheating me and lost $3000 in consequence.
When ^'Floating Palaces," as side-wheel steamers
were called, carried most of the travelers before rail-
Ways were dreamed of, I roam.ed the length of the
Mississippi and Missouri rivers from their head-
waters to the delta in Louisiana ; the falls of Minne-
sota, and Montana to Alton, and the gulf of Mexico,
-merely because mj uncle owned the boats and invited
me to take school vacations on them.
Mark Twain tells of these times, but there are a
few yarns he did not get hold of. One was apropos
of the heaving of the lead as soundings were called:
The indignant mate yelled from the hurricane roof
to heave the lead; seeing an idling deck hand, who
was a new one to navigation terms, he swore at him
and asked him to throw the lead at once. The roust-
about saw some pigs of lead forward, and just as the
mate came to the lower deck to bluster some more, the
green hand pitched a pig of leael overboard, the mate
trying to save it fell in.
Then the captain from the roof wanted to know if
the lead had been thrown and how much water there
The ^^rooster" said that it had been thrown and the
mate had geme over to find out about the water.
STEAMBOATl A G 9 i
The cry of "no bottom" meant a safe depth for
navigating the light draught boats, some of which were
said to be able to travel in a heavy dew. The
fathoms and quarters and feet were marked at the
right parts, and one Irishman announced, when asked
the depth, that it was three pieces of leather and a
"[N'ot very miich water here," sang out a German
'^rooster" when sounding for his first time. Then
"Plenty good water here," for several heaves, but
striking shallow spots again:
"Better look out up dere," all in the sing-song style
of the usual sailor at such duty. Finally with a bang
the boat shivered and stopped on a sand bar, to the
tune of the sounder's :
"Didden I told you so ?"
Innumerable are the steamboat yarns of the
period, great were the fortunes made in freight and
travel, and sad were the disasters of sinking and
Stern wheel steamers ventured up the shallow
rivers, such as the Yellowstone, and Indians made
the trips romantic. Pilots were protected from
arrows and bullets by boiler iron shields, and passen-
gers took pot shots at feathered heads on the shore
and had fierce fights sometimes to keep Indians at a
When Howgate's fun in Washington cost the
signal service the station at Fort Sully, as economy
had to be practised by some one to pay for yachtS;-
92 FUN IN A DOCTOK^S LIFE
horse races and so on, particularly the latter, I had
to seek other means of getting funds for college, so
my friend the commodore gave me the first clerk's
position on his General Meade and also on the Silver
Lake, a faster boat v^ith better time. We carried
freight for troops at the forts on the upper Missouri
and Yellowstone rivers, and in the course of my work
I noticed the other boats of the fleet had two or three
times the fuel expense of my boats, and I studied out
the reason in the clerk's "knocking down."
Some Indians owned wood yards and their primi-
tive arithmetic was a nuisance. I had to give them
dollar bills in piles to correspond with the number of
cords bought. Twenty cords at four dollars meant
twenty piles of four single bills. If a bill fell out
the entire foolishness had to be repeated. A himdred
is a big ten, and when they deal in thousands it is an
inconceivable sum to them.
Cottonwood is quickly burned and cheap; harder
wood, like oak, hickory, elm or maple, though often
watery, made more steam and was cheaper at two
times the price of the soft wood; the various prices
and amounts enabling the clerks to '^add to their
salaries" in ways hard to detect, but it was the ac-
cepted thing on the river, and salaries were adjusted
to the steals.
I examined the various factors and studied out
co-efficients that related the miles nm, the tonnage
carried, the steam pressure, the kinds of wood bought
and the prices of each sort, and presented Com-
modore John H. Charles with a means of testing the
honesty of his clerks in wood buying, with a glance
at their accounts.
A clerk on another of his boats was swearing
about it one day in my presence, hoping he could
get hold of the who put the
old man up to that business. ''Why," said he, "we
can't live on the wages we get, and have to have that
rake off to get even."
My old friend Charles wanted me to take the cap-
taincy of one of his boats the following season, but my
ambitions were wholly in medicine and so I parted
with one of the best friends I ever had. But we cor-
responded till he died.
Sometimes engineers, pilots or mates wintered at
Indian reservations, joining their boats the next sea-
son. Once a party of passengers were interviewing
Indians on the river bank, and a lady remarked a
pretty papoose on its mother's back, asking if it was
full Indian. The mother said "No; he half ingin,
That was not his name ; his real one was a yard
long and used up the vons and gutturals till you gave
up trj'ing to remember it and wrote it down as he
slowly confided it to you by spelling most of it, and
when you wanted to look it up could not find the
memorandum. It was the name on the muster rolls
that he adopted when he enlisted.
His father was a noted physician in Bonn, the
university town of Germany, and Baldwin killed a
fellow student in a duel.
^N'ow, as a survival from the barbarian days of
that country such an event merely added to one's
honor, but very likely Baldwin had evolved beyond
such vanity, and not knowing much about American
ideas on such subjects he had not risen to the posi-
tion of being able to refuse to fight a duel at all, and
suffer the snubs of his college mates in consequence,
as did my friend Otto L. Schmidt, of Chicago, when
taking an extra degree as doctor of medicine at his
father's old alma matcr^ Wurtzburg.
Schmidt sent word to his challenger that if the
subject was mentioned again he would ^^punch his
This was considered satisfactory as an Ameri-
canism, and tlie matter was dropped.
But poor Baldwin fled to the United States and
enlisted in the armj some years after the Civil War.
He was sent to Fort Sully, Dakota, where I met
him detailed to assist the weather observer, McCann,
whom I relieved at request of the chief signal officer
because the post commander, a martinet, could not
get along with the sergeant of the station, who was
too busy with scientific duties to stand at atten-
tion, perpetually saluting and dressing for parade,
as did the other enlisted men at the fort. Imperium
in imperio is too much for the officer who thinks he
is a little tin god.
''Tubby Watson," as the professor of astronomy
at the Michigan University was called, and myself
were the only civilians in the U. S. Sig-nal Service
at that time, as it was a military branch of the War
Baldwin's superior education made him very com-
panionable and I was the only one who met him on
equal terms, the regulations not permitting officers
to hob-nob with privates, and it provoked me to see
Baldwin stand silently in the presence of shoulder-
straps inferior to him intellectually, waiting permis-
sion to be seated.
My work consisted in telegraphing to Washington
three times daily the barometer and thermometer
readings, also minimum and maximum temperatures,
wind direction, kinds and directions of clouds, hu-
96 FUN IN A doctor's life
midity, wind force, etc., translated into cipher, besides
sundry regular reporting. Baldwin helped me mater-
ially with this and afforded me time to study anatomy
and chemistry under the post surgeons.
We manufactured many of the articles required
in experimental inorganic chemistry, and I was fort-
unate enough to start with what was then the ''new
chemical notation," adherants to the old giving way
About the only time Baldwin was miffed at me
was when I asked him to apply a lighted wisp of paper
to a large crock full of hydrogen gas, which he did
absentmindedly, and was nearly blown out of the
door. I had no idea that he would take me at my
word, but his soldierly training had made him obey
He stayed in his quarters several days in spite
of the apology I sent him, but later he had the satis-
faction of seeing me discomfited.
Dr. Bergen, the post surgeon, and I wanted a
complete skeleton to compare with the beautiful
plates in Holden's xinatomy, and he inspired a
visit to an Indian place of sepulture across a
ravine and on a high bluff a couple miles from
Indians are very touchy about their burial places,
and as superstitious as are other untutored folk. To
keep the wolves away the gra~^^es are heavily cohered
with stones, or the bodies are placed in trees; only
upon prairies they substitute poles to lift the bodies
from the ground. The sutlers at forts gave the
Indians long shoe boxes for burial cases.
Telling no one of our ghoulish plans, Bergen and
I, one dark night, with flour sacks, dark lanterns and
revolvers, slid down one hill and climbed the other,
plentifully stuck full of cactus spines; passing a
Sioux village of wig-warns, or teepees as they call
them in that region, the numerous cur dogs greeting
Indians ahvays have dogs as sentinels, and in time
of famine they are roasted and eaten, as one dis-
gusted old trapper remarked: '^guts, feathers and
all." The breed is always mongrel, with jackal
canis aureus, the yaller purp, predominating.
We had to tumble down the shoe cases and cau-
tiously insert the lantern, only opening the slide when
the light was hidden in the box.
We filled our flour sacks with bones, when it
struck Bergen that he had not seen a sacrum in the
lot, and we hunted quite a while before finding one.
Young and strong as we were, we were fagged on
reaching the fort, and I tumbled the collection into
barrels of permanganate of potash solution, the old
Condy's disinfecting fluid before antisepsis days,
gotten ready beforehand, and then tumbled myself
into bed with torn clothes and shoes bristling with
prickly pear stickers, to awaken in the full day-
light with Baldwin and the hospital steward gazing
and grinning at me and asking silly questions.
Later in the day the hospital steward, one of
98 FUN IN A doctoe's life
those little Yankees with a squeaky voice that jon
read about but rarely meet, came to my station
doubled up with laughter, asking if Dr. Bergen and
I had been poking around the Indian burying ground
last night. E'o matter if bodies are hung up they are
presumed to be buried in common speaking.
I asked him if he thought it was any of his
"E'ot a bit/' said he, in his high squeak, "but
listen to the racket down in the Indian village, they
are wearing out their lungs and drums. The major
sent down to find out what was '^eatin' em,'' and they
said that the spirits of their dead friends were danc-
ing on the hill last night with will-o-the- wisp lights,
and the major did some guessing and sent for Bergen,
who gave the secret away."
"Well," I said, "we can survive the commanding
officer knowing we are studying anatomy at this post."
"Thats all right," said squeaky, "but there is more
to tell. That was a special grave yard."
"What sort, kings and queens, chiefs and chief -
"Worse than that: small pox!"
Before Bergen came over from officers' quarters
to my station I telegraphed for vaccine lymph, and we
speculated on the possibility of the contamination
surviving the few years sepulture.
But we had nearly a month to wait, for the stage
to Sioux City was the only winter connection with
civilization and it was called a tri-weekly route, as
it went down one week and tried to get back the next,
but never did.
Occasionally during the following hot summer
Baldwin and I exchanged guesses as to the where-
abouts of some rat that must have gotten into the
log structure somewhere and perished. Following
our noses as the aroma intensified, the whiskey
barrels in the cellar once full of macerating fluid,
by evaporation had resurrected Mr. Injuns dis-
It was about time to bleach them anyway, so up
to the mud roof of the cabin station they went and
were spread out under the big anemoscope,, the
whirling anemometer and other tools of the weather
A few days later a fifty-mile hurricane ripped
through the reservation and cleaned off my roof,
Injuns, instruments and all.
^ext day Baldwin appeared from his dinner in
the barracks backing against a high wind left over
from the previous ripper, pulling a wheelbarrow full
of the same old bones, which had been cavorting all
over the soldiers' parade ground.
The next complication was a petition from the
soldiers asking the post commander to forbid inter-
ference with the consecrated burial ground at the
fort, and to put the soldiers right the major posted up
an order that civilians studying medicine at the fort
should not molest the Indian graves. That appeased
the boys by showing them they had guessed wrong
100 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
about the origin of the skulls and cross bones they
saw in the air that breezy day.
Baldwin was hunted up by a German consul and
his discharge from the army secured to enable him to
get a large sum of money his father had left him.
Then came a splurge strung across the continent.
Wein, Weib und Gesang, till he turns up in Mexico,
very much busted.
Twenty years after he left Fort Sully his emac-
iated, ragged semblance walked into my office in
Chicago; but I knew him instantly, and came near
crying over his pitiful state.
He started to tell me of his wanderings, but I
rushed him out to get something to eat, as he said he
had had nothing for three days, but that he was in no
hurry as he was used to being hungry.
At a place on Randolph street was a sign : ^'Regu-
lar dinner, 10 cents; Regular Gorge, 15 cents."
He probably took both with a five cent shave, for
he looked somewhat better on his return.
He had tramped and stolen freight train rides
all the way from Mexico, being hunted thence for kill-
ing an Indian who was persecuting him, and in Chi-
cago he despairingly turned over the leaves of a
city directory in the forlorn hope of finding a name
he knew, when to his great joy as he said: ^'There
was your name in big, fat letters !"
Those same big, fat letters had cost me man}'
an alms before, a penalty for being prominent in
any way. Announcements in the newspapers of any
lecture I had delivered always brought begging
cranks to me.
But I was glad to see Baldwin again under any
circumstances; took him to my suburban home in
Riverside, where I had a small sanitarium, had him
take a much needed bath, clad him in some of my
garments, and brought him to the table, having spoken
of him as a splendid young man I knew. The flight
of time had aged him with hardships, and I was
laughed at by one of the nurses, who always saw the
comic side of things, for speaking of the poor, little,
weazened Baldwin as "a young man."
When we have not seen a friend for many years
and remember him as young and full of vigor, it is
diflScult to accept eye-sight evidence of the lapse of
years in his case, though the people about us grow so
gradually old we see nothing strange in their cases.
Then cropped up the restlessness that caused me to
record him on page 890 of my Medical Jurisprudence
of Insanity as an instance of what Germans call
Errabunden Wahnsinn, or wandering insanity. He
refused to accept more favors or to stay longer, though
I could have found him employment.
I wish now that instead of giving him his fare
to Wisconsin, where he said he had a relative, I had
sent him to Dwight to be treated for the liquor habit,
which I concluded was at the bottom of his vaga-
And I fear that in some Chicago den he was robbed
-of his money and died rather than seek me again.
Until about twenty years after the great fire Chica-
go had a king, a political boss, who appointed every
office-holder, who regulated the police force, dic-
tated to the mayor, sold the streets to railway com-
panies, collected and disbursed the taxes and other
'No one was employed for city work of any kind
without Mike^s assent, and if he kicked an employe
out of his job it was final and no intercession would
It was ^'Humpty Dumpty" off the wall.
A couple of years I had been going to the county
insane asylum at my own expense, studying the
patients, classifying them, and occasionally bringing
brains in a tin bucket to my house ; the results of such
labors being contributions to the Journal of ^N'ervous
and Mental Diseases and other medical and scien-
tific publications. The American JSTaturalist also
printed my articles on anatomical subjects.
Then the superintendent of the asylum asked me
if I would not like to be regularly appointed to do
that sort of research work, and conceiving nothing
more desirable I readily went with him to ''Mike'^
KINQ MIKE 103
to pass muster and get his permission. To my
astonishment he took me into a drinking saloon
on Clark street, near the court house, and introduced
me to a slim, ordinary sort of chap who was lean-
ing on the customers' side of his long counter.
Mike did not even glance at me, but spoke to
Spray iti a low voit?e, who finally said: ^'This is
the doctor I told you about who has been doing
pathological work at the asylum for a year or so."
With a sudden spring and turn toward me from
his previous leaning position over his counter, Mike
glared at me and put out one finger for me to shake.
I was too glad to get the place to resent the inso-
lence, though it galled me a little, and as I neither
blanched, flushed, nor looked scared, but only grinned
at his inspection, I suppose my appearance was satis-
factory, so I became a satellite of the great Mike
and was permitted to see part of the second story
with its elaborate gambling appurtenances, roulette
wheels, faro lay-outs, and the Lord knows what else,
to enable the victim to be skinned out of what he had
left from guzzling poisons down stairs.
The third story I heard stories about years later,
iDut never knew if they were true or not.
xVnyway, it was a tough joint, and I felt disillu-
sioned as to merit and study alone sufficing to boost
one in an honorable and humane profession and scien-
tific career. If I did not blush when Mike was "siz-
ing me up," I certainly did when waking out of a
sound sleep I realized the kind of appendage I was to
104 FUN m A DOCTOR^S lif£
be to the slums and bums of Chicago, for the privilege
of trying to help my ailing fellow men.
But a touch of that dirty old consolation, that
the end justified the means, braced me to my work,
and I soon had things swimming.
There were no records of cases previously, so 1
secured great blank books and wrote up the histories
of the patients as told by their relatives and friends,
and from what little there was in the commitment
papers, for the insane were tried as criminals and
brought by the sheriff or his deputies to the asylum.
The vast material for original study gave me
delight and enthusiasm, and every minute I eagerly
hunted every clue bearing upon a better understand-
ing of each patient and the whole subject of brain
disturbances. Medical periodicals of that time attest
the industry of my efforts.
That a student of a '^i bject, scientific or medical,
could possibly wish for no more than a bare living
so he could devote all his time to his favorite research
is inconceivable to money grabbers. Yet, what a
groveling, swinish old world this would be if such
"fools," as investigators are called, had not made sac-
rifices to obtain knowledge for those not yet born, and
whom they will never know.
Soon after taking charge as pathologist of the
asylum I observed a well constructed and kept kennel
of thoroughbred hounds, setters, pointers, retrievers,
etc., near the asylum kitchen, and on inquiry was
told that an attendant, on the pay rolls as such^
itlNG MIKE i6§
was known as Mike's dog man, in charge of the fine
kennel and its contents.
The chronically hopeless insane patients num-
bered half of the entire 600 in the asylum, were
called terminal dements and were gathered and
more or less neglected, upon special wards, some-
times called the D. W. for dement or dirty wards.
From time to time I examined the food and
inilk in the different divisions of the institution,
though my duties were supposed to be in writing
up the histories of the patients and holding post-
mortems. Had the politicians known of my curi-
osity being exercised in behalf of good food for the
patients the gang would have made short work of
I found that the milk given to the hopeless patients
was always sour and otherwise unwholesome, caus-
ing fatal epidemics among them.
A young medical friend of mine at a neighbor-
ing institution suggested to me to also try the kind
of milk given to Mike's dogs by the official dog man.
I did so, and saw the richest cream skimmed from
the kitchen ice-house cans of milk and taken direct
to the kennels for the pups there.
Piles of hogs' snouts Were dumped from butcher
wagons for soup making, and a curious visitor watch-
ing a strait-jacket patient trying to eat his soup
with hands bound behind his back, passed a spoon
handle through an iron ring in the nose of one of
the heads in the plate, lifted it and called the atten-
i06 FUN IN A DOCTOP/S LlF^
tion of one of the county commissioners to it;
This official kept a ^'dead-fall" saloon under the
iBrevoort House in Chicago, accounting for his being
able to extract fun from the incident. He ex-
claimed: ^^Vell, vot do you oxpect, Gold Vatches?"
The asylum engineer told me of another humor-
A policeman had been shot in the neck by a burg-
lar on the Halsted street bridge and rendered in-
sane. The case was widely known as Kelly's wound
of the cervical sympathetic nerves, causing mania.
The burglar served six years in the penitentiary
and was then appointed by Mike as an attendant at
the asylum, and what tickled the engineer most of
all as he related the story, was that this ex-convict
was assigned to the very ward where Kelly was con-
fined, and thus was placed in charge of his victim.
During a general election once in Chicago, I
saw citizens meekly passing into an alley back of
Mike's saloon, handing ballots high over their heads
to a hand in a little window cut out of boards in a
voting shed at Mike's back door, the owner of the hand
Finally Van Pelt contended with Mike for boss^
ing honors of the county and Mayor Harrison found
it convenient also to help doWn the old dictator.
Mike lost control of county affairs. Van Pelt was sent
up as a boodler, and Harrison was shot by a lunatic.
As Van Pelt passed into the prison at Joliet he
looked up at the trees with their spring-time buds
find remarked: "The leaves are coming out. I wish
I was a leaf."
But Mike still controlled the city council^ and the
newspapers of the time were in high spirits over
quite a joke Hike played on the aldeimen. To secure
the franchise for a long elevated railway route it was
necessary to have an ordinance passed by the council.
There were about forty of them, and the story goes
that Mike in their presence placed a thousand dollar
bill in each of forty envelopes, wrote their names on
the outsides and handed them to a bar-keeper, each
side trusted, in escrow; with the understanding that
each councilman was to have his envelope after the
ordinance was irrevocably passed in Mike's favor.
Hastening to the saloon the envelopes were passed
over, greedily torn open, and found to contain the
large sum of one dollar in each.
The flim-flam enraged them all, and most of them
took their medicine silently ; but a few of them were
too indignant not to seek redress, and like the gold-
brick or green-goods victims they rushed squealing to
the "authorities" and into print for sympathy, to
learn that : "Laugh, and the world laughs with you ;
weep, and you get the laugh, anyway."
Mike's loyal lieutenant, "Chesterfield" Joe
Mackin, or "Gentleman Joe," as he was called, was
allowed to serve a prison term for an election con-
spiracy, and these two events put Mike entirely out
Then he blossomed out as a "respectable million^'
108 rUN IN A bOCTOR^S LlF^ \
aire," just as deserving, every whit, of the title, as <
many another whose crimes were not so well known. |
A variegated marital experience followed; his !
last wife being in jail accused of killing her lover. |
She was acquitted through means Mike had pro- j
vided for her doing so, but only after Mike had died
of a broken heart, it is said, at a ripe old age.
Scientific interest in the insane and in all ihe
medical studies relating to them secures for these
sufferers humane treatment that is effective far be-
yond the comprehension of the indifferent or emo-
tional. The wise, learned and kind superintendent
will discourage buffoonery exhibitions of his patients,
try to suppress their delusions, substitute decent ap-
parel for the gilt crowns, tassels, tinsels and frippery
many of these unfortunates assume, particularly
through politicians controlling asylums and carry-
ing their bar-room ideas of fun into places that should
be hospitals for the study and cure of disease, for in-
sanity is merely symptomatic of disease of some part
of the body, or many parts, sometimes all the parts.
But physicians and nurses may have the best of
intentions, their risibles are incidentally and con-
stantly appealed to by the sayings and antics of those
At the county insane asylum my office was at the
south end of the old main building, overlooking a
lav^m upon which some of the male patients enjoyed
outings when the weather permitted. A long stay
110 FUN IN A DOCTOR^'S LIFE
out of doors benefitting them and often enabling calm
sleep at nights where the close rooms would other-
wise have made restlessness.
The convalescent and quiet ward next to my lab-
oratory held some peculiar cases, and one patient
had his cell window adjoining the room in which
I wrote. Sometimes a caller would ask me if the
incessant whistling from that window did not annoy
me. A maniac spent all his excitement in whistling
a monotonous air the livelong day, except at meal
times, but I did not hear it till some one else spoke
of it, and then I realized how annoying it must be
to others, and until I forgot it again it was a nuis-
ance to me also. It was the same old jig- hour after
hour, but like the old lady who had buried her tenth
husband, we were used to it. Customary noises we
cease to hear, as the man does who sleeps where
But while patients have raved loudly on both
^ides of where I slept, in the center of the long build-
t'^mg, without awakening me or any of my family,
whenever the night watch tapped on my door with
a pencil it made me bound out of bed. Just as the
telegraphers' "call" is heard by the operator who
hears nothing else in his sleep.
One chronic maniac used to yell repeatedly, "I
am as crazy as a bed bug," and the hearers would
regard it as an instance of recognition of his insan-
ity by an insane person; but it was not, for it was
CEAZY FOLKS 111
An agile boy maniac used to annoy the lawn
patients by trickery, such as a mischievous youngster
could invent, and, by the way, that reminds me of a
too active and playful little monkey at Lincoln
park in Chicago, a capuchin, I think, in the same
large out-door cage with a lot of large baboons, the
dog face fellows. This monkey annoyed the baboons
constantly, dodging the grabs and kicks aimed at him
as the boy maniac did at the asylum. Finally an
old baboon caught the little devil, put him over his
knee and spanked him while the offender shrieked
and later sat around pouting and whining. Penitent
for the time being.
This juvenile at the asylum recited long poems
learned at school, and with another older maniac used
to stick legs out of the barred windows, loudly sing-
ing German songs, like ^'Die Wacht am Khoin" and
A visitor once looked up at them and remarked:
^'Dem fellers ish not grazy ven dey recolmember all
dem worts so veil," a specimen of the average out-
sider's knowledge of insanity. When that boy recov-
ered he resumed his previous quiet, rather stupid
demeanor, and could not recite the things he did when
A former Hudson river steamboat captain roomed
next my office and used to drop in to see me when
out on parole. He, too, appeared to be aware at
times of his condition, for on one such occasion he
said to me, ^'I don't see what I ever did to be put
in this place ; I was always a good citizen and family
man, and never harmed anyone." And then, as the
injustice of his punishment struck him more forci-
bly, he exclaimed: '^Yes, and by God, I used to be
an exhorter," referring to his leadership in Metho-
Once he fancied he was dead, and annoyed others
by vociferating the claim, till Maitland, the asylum
storekeeper, who had a room on that ^'quiet ward,"
expostulated with him with the information that dead
men did not talk; the customary illogical response
of the insane was resorted to in inviting the store-
keeper to go to hell.
Another time the old chap pranced up and down
the corridor wanting this boat to land at a wood yard.
Maitland tried again to reason with him by telling
him this place was not a boat, that it was the asylum.
^^Look around, now, can't you see this does not look
like a boat ?"
But it did, for the patient pointed out the cabins
along the saloon length, the cells on each side the
corridor of the w^ard, and just then the asylum whistle
blew for lights out.
''There," said the lunatic, ''that whistle is for the
landing, you go and see that we woodup," which Mait-
land promised to do, and quiet was restored.
Patients who wrote legibly were at times employed
on the accounts and records. I had two young men
in my office for awhile, one with monomania, as para-
noia used to be improperly called, the other was a
CEAZY FOLKS 113
suicidal melancholiac who had been pulled out of
the lake into which he had jumped.
The lake was a favorite suicide resort, but so
shallow in places as to afford deep water only far
from shore. An Irish policeman once saw a despond-
ent Polander wading out to sink in deep water, and
hailed him with the threat that : ^'If you don't come
out of that I'll shoot you and run you in!" where-
upon the suicidally inclined turned about and waded
to shore obediently.
The monomaniac had been racing from England
to America and to the African Cape trying to get
away from enemies who published sermons and edi-
torials about him. He had knocked a policeman off
a street car for watching him, and was brought to us.
I tried what education would do for him and it did
much, for we sent him to Scotland, where he lived
and wrote to me that he was free from his former
But while writing up my records, he at one
end of a long table and the suicide at another, caused
me to keep watch that neither got hold of any sharp
instruments. The Scotchman once thought I had
joined his enemies and told me he would not have
believed it before. The way of it was this : Scotchy
was very debilitated, and instead of giving him the
worthless medicine at the asylum that the politicians
sent us for genuine, I bought an elixir of quinine,
strychinine and iron in the city and without remov-
ing the wrapper instructed Scotty how to take it.
A week or so later he came to me with the question:
"Doctor, I don't know what's come over me, for at
times I can't get my jaws apart and my muscles
draw tightly ?"
I took a look at him as he grimaced in an effort
to unlock his jaws, and told him to fetch me that
medicine hottle I had given him. He did so, and
tearing off the cover I saw that the strychnia and
quinine had precipitated and the poisonous dose was
being reached as he got further down in the bottle.
The drug clerk had been careless and had also done
wrong in making up himself what I had ordered to
be put up from Wyeth's preparation. Unwisely
explaining the mistake to Scotty, he had his misgiv-
ings as to my being in league with his persecutors
for some time.
In the usual general assortment of queerness there
was a "Mrs. Lincoln," not the real person, but one
who claimed to be, and consistently said her maiden
name was Todd. A tall angular motherly soul, in-
dustriously sewing till visitors annoyed her with ques-
tions, when she would turn on them with filth, blas-
phemy and ribaldry one would never expect from such
a respectable, pious matron. She was one of the great
fire victims. Many were berefit of senses by that
Chicago calamity and our county asylum had num-
bers of them at that time. One pretty woman used to
yell from her window prayers to be saved from the
fire, saying that the roof was falling in. The autopsy
showed that the forehead part of her brain had shrunk
CEAZY FOLKS 115
greatly and hardened, though she referred her numb-
ness to the back part of her head, saying that was
the part that was gone.
A sweet, little industrious woman with masked
epilepsy convinced all visitors that she had no busi-
ness there as she was perfectly sane. The first intima-
tion her husband had otherwise was awakening by
being hammered in the face by her slipper. She was
a tigress in her periodical attacks, but pitifully sub-
dued at all other times.
A negress of that kind of insanity managed to hide
a hatchet she brought from the laundry, where she
worked in the asylum, and with the announcement that
there was goin' to be some fust class funerals, she did
what she could to carry out her prediction ; chopping
through her cell door till a brave doctor and the
engineer rushed in and stopped her. The engineer
slowly and cautiously inserted the key, turned it and
threw the door open and Dr. Thuembler grabbed
her arm and hatchet.
But those little incidents kept things from be-
A giant negro with paretic dementia saw God
riding in a chariot outside his window, telling him
to break out of that place. He tore his iron bed
apart, beat the door down with it, destroyed every-
thing in the corridor, struggled with five or six strong
attendants half an hour, and his part of the institu-
tion looked as though a hurricane had swept it.
iiTotwithstanding all these incidents asylum folks
116 Fujs" IN A doctor's life
take chances like the stokers of rotten boilers and
engines liable to blow up any instant.
An insane barber probably would not be popular
in a town, but our best one at the asylum had his shop
in the basement and usually gave us warning when
he "didn't feel very well today," and he was urged
to do business at such times. He would go to his
cell to have his furious outbreak and shave the officials
the rest of the time.
Which reminds me of having seen a drunken
barber shaving a drunken customer on a steamboat
in Montana; blood was flowing free but unnoticed,
while the barber remarked : "Howld an Buck, an' I'll
shave ye yet, if the handle don't break."
Leading recollection to another scene where a
barber went out and brought in a soap box, placed it
near the chair his customer was on, and stood on it,
explaining that the snakes were so thick on the floor
he merely wanted to get up out of their way.
While on barber tales we might as well hear of a
In a comic German paper a boy is pictured in a
Berlin shop lathering and slashing a man seated in
one of the uncomfortable ordinary chairs that con-
servative city retains in barber shops.
The man says :"See here, boy, that's the third time
you have cut me, I should think you would lose all
"Oh no !" I only shave the strangers, I never shave
"C^AZY FOLKS 117
lilustrative of the difficulties of Pennsylvania
Dutch, it is told of a barber and a customer in Read-
ing that the latter was nervous and got up from his
chair, walked around the shop awhile, and then went
out, his seat being taken by another. Returning, he
looked at the newcomer, then walked to the barber
and asked : ^^If a man goes, und he <3omes, has
he vent ?" To which the barber returned, after
a solemn taking in of the situation: "He vos, but
Getting back to the asylum, there were frequent
comical conversations only more intelligible.
A female habitually commanded men visitors to
take off their hats and receive the blessings of ^^ Jesus,
ilary and Joseph, three in one !"
My oldest boy carried the medicine tray from the
drug store to the wards, when he was greeted with the
familiar command, but a voluble old companion of
hers, equally insane, interposed with : "He needn't
take off his straw hat, the blesin' can go through the
hole in it."
That poor old girl accused an imaginary absent
person with always throwing sand in her eyes, a
delusion based on painful optic nerves.
One important woman refused to speak to any one
pleasantly, as she claimed that her husband was a
police sergeant and her social position was too super-
ior to have her recognize common people.
A female with a form of insanity called katatonia
spent her excitement surplus of energy in somersault-
ing along the ward corridor. A political silperm-
tendent called my attention to this case as peculiar,
and I soon recognized the alternations described by
Kahlbaiim, an alienist in Germany. The form of in-
sanity had been bnt recently discovered by him, and
as it was the first I had made out or heard about
being recognized in America, I was naturally enthus-
iastic and felt pleased in telling the superintendent
about my discovery.
It was the beginning of other revelations to me of
the contemptible natures of medical politicians, for he
angrily retorted: "The damn Dutch are always mak-'
ing fool discoveries. Nobody ever heard of katatonia^
and I don't believe there is no such thing !"
I have observed that those who murder the king's
English while in stations that should be filled com-
petently are the ones who are most jealous of real
Clouston, of Edinburgh, tells of a gardener who^
was insane only in his speech, talking and answering
in gibberish, he acted intelligently at all times. A
similar case the entire day repeated: "I stole
three bottles of wine, I stole three bottles of wine^
Damn three bottles of wine !"
The other extreme of mutism is common, where
the patient has a delusion preventing him from
speaking at all. A darkey called Zeb had been at
the asylum twenty years, working in the engine room>
usually and had never been heard to speak,when one
day a piece of machinery was about to fall on a work-
CRAZY FOLKS 119
man and Zeb jelled to him to look out. He then
became silent as before.
An insane convict who had thrown red pepper in
a bank messenger's eyes to rob him, but was caught
and brought to the asylum, when shown to be non
compos; and priding himself on his jig dancing, Zeb
who had never seemed to be interested in the enter-
tainments for patients previously, watched the con-
vict and when he had blo^^^l himself out Zeb took the
floor and outdid him amid shouts of surprise and ap-
proval from attendants and patients.
Those weekly dances were always comic; the
women were waltzed around by themselves, and the
men by female attendants, but the antics on all sides
were laughable as a cake walk. The musician could
be started only by humming or w^histling the airs,
as he had forgotten the names of all his pieces, though
a music teacher in the city long before insane.
This old music teacher had alcoholic insanity, a
disease that makes trouble at home of the worst kind,
for it is murderous, but away from home the victim
is not known as insane at all, and fierce have been the
contentions over trials of the alcoholic insane.
At the asylum the children led him to the music
room and after he had given them lessons they led
him back to his ward, as he had little memory left. But
a grand jury, smelling out wrongs that did not exist
and incapable of understanding those that really did
exist, because not agreeing with their inspired pre-
conceptions, concluded after a long talk with the old
120 rUK IN A DOCTOE^S LIFE
music teacher that he had no business there and
ordered his discharge, though told by the physicians
at the asylum of the dangerous nature of the insanity ;
but they knew he was not insane, just as many know
the earth is flat. The old fellow was sent home, got
immediately drunk, broke up a piano with an axe,
burnt up sheets and books of music and tried to kill
his family. Newspaper clippings of this fun had to
be shown successive grand juries to turn them to other
Speaking of the flat earth, a self sufficient lady
remarked to her husband: ''I don't see why people
talk about the earth's being round, for any fool can
look out and see it is flat."
*^Yes," said her husband, "any fool can."
Another time a grand juror said that he had
talked in Swedish with a countrywoman of his who-
was wrongfully held there, and he positively knew
that she was not insane. She answered all questions
intelligently and was rational on all subjects mention-
ed. He demanded her instant discharge or he would
bring the matter into court. I told the attendant that
she had better send her to her room and let the grand
juror wait awhile and take her to town himself.
When she reappeared she had on a gilt paper
crown, a heavy necklace of large glass beads, a robe
of many colors with window tassels at the hem, and a
broom handle scepcer. Upon being asked to introduce
herself to the grand juror she pompously told him that
she was Queen of Sweden, Queen Victoria, the queen
of tragedy and queen of song, and would fine him
-^Ye dollars for daring to smoke in her presence.
Like some others she had confounded magistrate with
Mr. Grand Juror made a sneak, and I often won-
dered if he profited by the whack at his bumptious-
ness. But lots of folks keep on knowing it all in
spite of accidents showing the contrary.
Still another grand juror, a year or two later^
stood pityingly beside a comely negress who waj?
strapped to the arm of a settee by wristlets and belt*
He indignantly claimed that here was one of the
outrages he had read of. He was prancing around
angrily demanding her release, when getting nearer
to his poor, abused patient she watched her chance
and gave him a kick in the crotch that lifted him
toward the ceiling. He changed his remarks to
'^Damn her, tie her feet !''
She was one of the most dangerous maniacs in
the place with quiet intervals.
The coming of the grand jury was always known
beforehand, when things would be furbished up,
patients with kicked-in ribs would be tucked in bed^
bruised faces locked out of sight and steering ushers
lead the inspectors away from what was really dis-
creditable, and finally in the dining room the banquet^
wine and cigars convinced the visitors that all was
Any "traitor'^ who "gave things away," meaning
exposing the wrongs of the patients^ had an up hill
row to hoe, for he would be hounded by an organiza-
tion of toughs he could not have imagined existed in
For instance, let an indignant physician scold a
ballot box stuffer, appointed as attendant, for neglect-
ing a helpless dement by gadding ai one end of the
ward, hundreds of feet away from where boiling hot
water was scalding the patient to death because bereft
of sense the unfortunate did not know enough to turn
the water oif .
The usual response of the political employe is
^^Well, wot yer goin^ ter do about it? Yer ain't got
pull enough ter fire me. See ?"
Discharge that man and take the consequences,
which will be demands from saloon keeping senators
and representatives to put that man back at once.
Opportunities will be sought against you, and the
public made to think physicians are the criminals
instead of the politicians.
An insane lawyer was picked up in the streets
of Chicago after the great fire, and became one of the
show patients. He said that he was trying a case in
court when the judge turned into a boa-constrictor
and the jury into monkeys, and he could not stand it.
He was disgusted. The old paranoiac complained of
cats in the air, and once his attendant tied a string
to a cat's tail and threw it over the lawyer's transom,
but the patient complained in such a way as to let
us know that he could discriminate between real cats
and those of his hallucinations.
Crazy folks l^S
This same attendant had stolen a horse and slipped
the attorney out of the asvliim, secretly getting him
over to Jefferson where the case was tried before
a justice of the peace, and as he was not recognized by
any one there and was able to defend the culprit quite
well, he succeeded in having the case against him dis-^
missed, and then sneaked the insane lawyer back to
his room which he Was supposed to have been too
sick to leave.
The lawyer secured chews of tobacco from curious
visitors before he answered questions. Once he
turned interrogator himself and said to a sensation
seeker: ^'Yoli know that Susan B. Anthony is Pres-
ident of the United States, now."
Thinking it best to agree to anything an insane
person said, he nodded yes.
"And you know that Andrew Jackson is Vice-
President, and that Harriet Beecher Stowe is Sec-
i*etary of War and we have captured England."
^'Yes," said he.
^'Well, you know a blamed sight more than I
do, and I think you are a bigger fool."
Ti'oops of sight seers flock through institutions
of this sort if permitted, asking to be shown the
worst cases, but it is a bad practice and the insane
should be treated as sick and not placed on exhibi-
tion. Pancy the feelings of some recovered person
Upon being reminded of how amusing or terrible
he was when he was seen in the asylum.
Por ten years we had a chronic and supposedly
incnrable maniac in the county asylum, and he had
a criminal visage, hard, cruel and repulsive. He was
disagreeably obtrusive, though he never harmed any-
one, his threats and noisiness made him unpopular
and kept us watching for some deed in keeping with
his words. I once saw him pick up a garter snake
in the garden and bite its head off and swallow itj
claiming that it made him strong.
lie and three other lunatics gave me a scene that
Dante could have mentioned and his illustrator have
pictured after their own style:
The dead were often brought to my laboratory
for posting before being taken to the dead house, so
at dusk in the dim light in came a coffin held by four
patients, among them this snake-eater, all chatter-
ing and laughing, the chronic case mentioned making
more noise and gabble than the others.
About five years after this happened I visited
the asylum for the first time after leaving it long
previously, and a very polite and good looking gentle-
man in the drug store accosted me with: ^'Doctor, I
think you have forgotten me," watching my puzzled
face awhile he then mentioned his name. I hardly
thought it possible, but talking to him and hearing
what the others told about his recovery I was con-
vinced that here was one of the very rare in-
stances of restoration after apparently hopeless loss
Another character at "Dunning,"as the asylum
was known, from the aggregation of saloons given
CRAZY FOLKS 125
this town name, was a lithographer insane about
spiritualism. He put up proclamations threatening
scoundrelly spirits all about the asylum outside walls
and the trees. He conferred mediumship upon me
and I tried to argue him into an appreciation of the
absurdity of his behavior with no results.
A grand juryman once thought that this was an
instance of unjust retention, though he had the
freedom of the grounds and went no farther as he
thought the spirits would not let him leave. So the
juryman asked him what he would do if sent to
Chicago on the train. He promptly replied that he
would shoot Mr. Bundy, the editor of a spiritualistic
paper published there. The grand juryman did not
press the subject further.
Innumerable are the capers of thr^se unfort-
unates. One woman dressed her hair with apple
butter, another kept medicine in her mouth till a
chance to spit it in some one's face, often the doctor's.
The old lawyer rubbed his eye with a wet rag till it
was inflamed, saying he had cast off fifty skins and
had as many more to rub away. Another feeling
strange shocks from spinal cord disease would turn
suddenly and hit anyone behind him, claiming he
had struck him in retaliation, the one behind having
hit first. The darkey Zeb picked up rubbish inces-
santly, and such dements are regarded as beyond re-
covery. Zeb would stow away things in his shirt and
pockets of no earthly value till unloaded periodic-
ally by the engineer he assisted. Once Zeb was put
on the scales and weighed, freight and all, 200 lbs.
before and 130 lbs. after disgorging. The inventory
listed rags, bones, pebbles, brick bats, broken comb,
no teeth in it, half a spoon, spools, burnt matches, pill
box, bottles, tin cans, sardine labels, brass faucet,
hammer handle, egg shells, handle of tin cup, grass,
tassel, fly paper, an old ragged sock, pieces of cast
iron, broken glass, keys, playing cards, a cent, toy
whistle, potato peelings, clock pendulum, feathers,
strings and a crust of last year's bread.
A schoolboy's pockets might yield somewhat sim-
ilar wealth, and these terminal dements seem to
return to childish estimates of value in the things they
treasure. But sometimes money in large amounts
has been found secreted with or without the other
things of no value. A teamster brought his wife to
Dunning and was telephoned for to come and get
what was found sewed up in her dress. The poor
fellow was amazed, but recognized some coins and
other money he had given her years before. She
had stowed away what he supposed they had lived
on. Sure enough, ^^it was just like finding it," as
A paretic brought a thousand dollars in twenty
dollar pieces with him and rolled them down the
corridor length. His wife got back about a hundred
dollars, the rest having ^^fallen into rat holes."
A powerfully built ]!^orwegian physician with
rapidly fatal paretic dementia attracted attention by
his furies. Once the patients in his ward, the
CRAZY FOLKS 127
were taken out on the lawn and I
was ascending the iron steps at the end of the build-
ing when I heard hatchet strokes cutting the door
down and the Norwegian swearing he would "kill
And he emerged from the wreck of the door, hav-
ing broken into the locked store room of the ward to
get the hatchet, and stood before me with his weapon,
flushed, angry and irresponsible. But he liked me, as
we had talked over medical matters in which he was
well educated, and he looked more peaceable. I had to
gather my wits swiftly and asked him if he could see
a procession passing below from his window in the
stairway hall. He craned his neck and stood on his
toes to look out, and to my intense relief he dropped
the hatchet, which I kicked down the iron stairway
and it banged resoundingly the four stories. I felt
squeamish afterward about the possibility of its hitt-
ing some one but it was a noon time when no one
moved about as a rule, and one can't guard against
every contingency. Anyway, I gave the alarm and
soon the paretic was safely locked up again. He
should not have been left by himself. His skull as
shown post-mortem was abnormally thick, probably
like those of his Norse ancestry.
A chronic maniac female used to rave at her
window the whole day swearing at passers, but quieted
instantly upon seeing the superintendent, whom she
took for her son. She had burned two of her children
on an altar in a religious frenzy, and we kept a turban
on her head to keep her from bruises against the
wall she incessantly banged.
Showing what habit will adjust ns to, upon one
occasion when she was raving and swearing at a
rate that would have burst a brain vessel ordinarily,
I felt her pulse and counted her respirations and they
were both that of a calm self-possessed person, the
heart beat as regularly as in sleep, showing that the
noise and fury were mere mechanical nothings as far
as the bodily functions were concerned.
A furious periodical female maniac who was put
in restraint till her attack was over grew fond of my
wife and visited her in our rooms begging to be
allowed to do the room work as an excuse to be with
her. Once while there an outbreak came on, and
my wife placed her in an arm chair, smoothed her
hair and talked soothingly to her and she broke into
tears and that bad spell was over, to our SLirpriso. So
the attendants sent for Mrs. Clevenger when the
attacks threatened, and often the patient would follow
h^-r to our rooms and soon be quiet again. But the
superintendent interfered when he learned of it,
thinking doubtless that if any miracles were to be
worked he should absorb the credit and not a pos-
sible candidate for his place, which 1 forcibly refused
later, telling the county commissioners that I did not
care to become the agent of murderers and thieves.
A sort of splutter habitual with m^- when principle
was at issue, and which did not endear me to the
CKAZY FOLKS 129
Another rociirrent female came to our room when
her attacks were threatening, she was also a Chicago
fire victim; and by means of a good dose of calomel
and quinine I several times broke up the return of
her furies, but this, too, the superintendent ended by
removing her to a distant part of the building and
forbidding the attendant to notify me of recurrences.
l^ow this sort of petty spite seems impossible
to right thinking persons, yet I encountered worse
By asking the Women's Club of the city to secure
a lady physician I managed to rush the appointment
of the first lady doctor to an asylum in the Union, so
far as I know; the commissioners appointing her, as
they thought the superintendent had recommended
the lady, but he had been ostensibly working to get
her there and really secretly working against her,
the trick being to please the Women's Club, an in-
fluential set, and prevent her coming.
The misunderstanding secured her the place, and
Dr. Delia Howe came to the surprise and disgust of
the superintendent, who did all he could to annoy and
defeat her, but in spite of all she did splendid work ;
upon one occasion surgically treating a neglected case
that under her skillful and kind care was rapidly
recovering mentally and in general health, when, pre-
posterous as it seems, this patient was taken away to
prevent the lady doctor from getting the credit for a
But this sort of thing springs from saloon keep-
130 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
ing domination of charity institutions. It is "prac-
tical politics." The usual policy being to "get a hold"
on a person who might become a competitor, even
if something had to be invented. This led to sneak-
ing, lying, and all the other worse things sneaks and
liars can do.
But we are trying to see the fun in this narration.
On the lawn at my State hospital an insane evan-
gelist addressed the other patients, who gradually
melted way and left him talking to no one. He found
it such hard work to get a congregation that he
brought it with him in the shape of sticks which he
stuck up in rows and preached to.
The transoms were very narrow but the few
inches enabled mysterious nightly fires to be set by an
incendiary epileptic who squeezed through and got
back the same way to his room till caught.
Then the sleep walker who danced in the air
along the edge of the roof, and the combination of
epileptics to escape by a rush together, a very unusal
thing. The epileptic in an asylum is a sad case. In
the interim of attacks, which he fails to remember,
he is sane and well behaved. If any patients could
combine to do anything they can.
An energetic, chattering, hard working maniac
laundress at the State institution was the subject of
an interesting experiment to divert her energies into
a less annoying exercise than talking so incessantly.
I made her a present of a stock of chewing gum and
there fell a great quiet upon the face of the earth;
CEAZY FOLKS 131
she was tappy and merely chawed and chawed her
happy hours away. There is no patent on the process
and it can be tried in other institutions.
When waiting on a table, even if the governor
of the state was present, she chipped into the conversa-
tion until the gum gave her jaws all they could
Among my patients at Eiverside sanitarium I
had a lady otherwise perfectly sane who washed her
hands a hundred times daily, fearing contamination.
Then there was a senile dement who drew a hundred
gallons of water to wet a postage stamp with, and
who when seen ransacking the drawers of the side-
board in the dining room was asked what he was
looking for, as he emptied out the silver, and said
he had mislaid his overshoes. He would gorge him-
self, fall asleep a few minutes and angrily ask when
the meal would be ready.
Hysterical lunatics are dangerous, and all the
more so, like the alcoholics, their insanity is not read-
ily recognized. I know of several hysterically in-
sane patients who made immense trouble by letters
sent anonymously, accusing innocent folks of atro-
At the State place a laundress fell in love with
an alcoholic homicidal case and married him in
spite of all my efforts to inform her, and she also
aided his escape.
A gardener there was interesting. I asked him
some questions soon after I took charge and he
turned on me with the information that he meant to
come to my office and see how I was running things.
I had not known he was a patient till then.
He was sent there as an alcoholic; his wife
finally demanded his release, threatening me with
saloon keeping statesmen if I did not let him go,
and they did send insolent demands, and it seems
queer they should not post themselves on the form
of insanity they themselves manufacture. Under
strong protest I let the wife take him home and the
next morning had frantic telegrams from sheriffs
and citizens demanding attendants to return him to
A county commissioner I used to expostulate
with about robbing the insane brought his father to
the county asylum and broke up the discipline of
the place by compelling the best ward for the noisy
patient, wholly unfit for the convalescent ward, in
which his presence prevented other patients from re-
covering. "But vots de use of a pull if you can't
use it for yer family?''
His father was still insane when I was made sup-
erintendent of the State hospital, and one of the
first transfers from Dunning was this commissioner's
father, as he "knew the old man would be treated
kindly while Clevenger had charge."
The subject is endless, but we can wind up with a
few more remarks about the sense berefted.
A superintendent was once asked by a patient:
"Am I the prince of this castle ?"
CRAZY FOLKS 133
"Certainly, your royal highness."
^'Then why are my orders disobeyed. These
buckets are labeled for fire only, and someone has
put water in them!"
A farmer was asked if he did not want his clock
repaired and regulated by a traveling tinker.
"j^o sir," said he, "when the hands point to half
past seven and it strikes eleven I know it is four
A visitor remarked to some one near an asylum
clock that it was not right.
"That's so," he replied, "for it wouldn't be here
if it was."
Dr. Lacquer, to whom I had turned over my prac-
tice when I left Chicago for the pathologist place at
the coi^nty asylum, was asked by an Italian fruit
dealer named Basigaloupi what had become of me as
he had not seen me for a long while.
"Why," said Dr. Lacquer, "hadn't you heard that
he went to the insane asylum ?"
"iSTo, now is dat so ?" "Veil, but I always dinks
dat dere was somtin de matter wid dat man !"
I^UK WITH ILLIKOIS GRAFTEKS.
On the high banks of a muddy little river the
State farm extended, forty acres of it being covered
with one great central building and many detached
buildings for alleged hospital purposes. It had been
creditably managed by my predecessor for fourteen
years, and only when he assured me in writing that he
would not consider re-appointment, after being polit-
ically ousted, would I consent to take his place.
A legislator arrogated to himself the appointment
of all my assistants. I ignored him and started in on
civil service ideas, caring nothing for parties or their
threats, having repeatedly published both parties as
My retained employees immediately schemed
against me, thinking to get the former administra-
tion back in spite of assurances that it would refuse
to return. Then the other party, having been out of
power thirty years, was very hungry, and paying no
attention to demands of either side both sets of wolves
concluded to combine against me as a means of set-
tling the division of sjDoils, after the ins threatened-
to hunt up and expose all the former stealings of the-
Things began to sizzle.
I'tJiT WITH ILLIXOIS GRAFTERS 135
The bookkeeper sent me checks for thousands of
dollars filled out ready for my signature, and being
the only officer responsible for State property and
under bonds, I refused to sign the checks till the
trustees audited the accounts for them, as I had no
means of knowing their correctness, and they had the
purchasing power as well as myself. I refused to
complicate matters by doing any buying myself.
This behavior was resented by the trustees as it
would too clearly point out the thieves, so they post-
poned stealings till other arrangements could be made.
I appointed ten specialists, such as dentists, eye
and ear and other medical and surgical experts from
the best of Chicago's physicians, they agreeing to
serve free of cost to the State, and at my request the
Illinois Central railway company furnished them
At first the trustees could see no harm to them-
selves in the move, thinking even they could share
the approbation of the public for the humanity of
the innovation. But the horrible thought finally
illumined the nut-kernels they called their brains
that these doctors were finding out everything about
the asylum and were commenting in Chicago about
the medicine being bought by the business manager
to profit himself rather than help the sick.
Fluid extracts were cold tea, a handful of quinine
■or calomel was not equal to a grain of the genuine.
Whiskey was fair, as legislators were particular of
what they drank when the State paid for it.
So, bang went my corps of specialists, and I
think I stand alone in ever having had one in a State
institution of the kind.
The superintendent's house was fitted up well,
but inheriting Quaker repugnance to luxury I made
short work of its contents, sending the fine oil paint-
ings to the wards for the patients to enjoy, cutting
down the list of servants, the horses and carriages,
preferring to walk anyway.
A shanty would serve my student habits better,
as freed from sneaks that wealth always gathers,
satisfied if my books and instruments were spared
to me with time to use them. Luxury palled, and I
grew invariably unhappy with it and hated the house
with too much comfort, particularly, as in this
instance, it was at the expense of the insane who were
deprived of necessaries which the maintenance o£
this house would have restored to them in part by
making up what the trustees stole, though these
Samaritans would have complacently absorbed it
themselves had it been relinquished.
Asiatic cholera threatened during the World's-
Fair year and I sent for the Pasteur filter men to
estimate on filters for the place, large ones to take
the place of drive wells in the water of which there
were typhoid germs, and I was forced to have the
pumps pulled up to keep the employees from using'
the dangerous water.
I told the Pasteur company that they must make
the price to the State a low one as there was to be no*
t'tJN" With illIxois GRAFTEiis I3f
"rake-off" for any politician, and the trustees said
nothing but the ingenious engineer came to their aid
by raising the pressure on the supply pipes when the
filters were being tested so they burst, and served as
a warning not to try to get goods into the hospital free
of tribute to the gang.
A great pile of printed blanks near a furnace at-
tracted my notice and brought out an amusing account
of their origin and abandonment.
Instead of answering letters of inquiry concern-
ing patients the '^time saving'' device was hit upon of
sending regular reports of their condition whether
asked for or not.
The storm of indignation was not anticipated
which this innocent blank filling brought upon the
asylum heads. Some wrote that they did not care
for news of the patient at all and and objected to
letters from a crank shop rousing neighborly curi-
osity, and all around there was no inducement to
keep up the reporting and the plan was abandoned;
but not before the, husband of one insane woman had
responded with: "Your statement that my wife re-
mains in the same condition as mentioned in last
report was received and I do not doubt your correct-^
ness, inasmuch as in that previous report you in-
formed me that she had died."
This report blank filling leads to other comicali-^
ties. In a history sheet series of questions sent to
applicants for their friends' admission, the married
or unmarried state of the patient is asked in the space
left blank to fill in of "Civil Condition," so that eveh
the word divorced and so on could be inserted; bin
one blank came back with the civil condition of a
maniac written in as "ITot very."
Similar to queries of the kind sent out to post-
masters as to their "Married Condition," one came
back to headquarters answered, "Hell;" another re-
ported "Fine and Dandy," and still another "Fair
Sometimes a latent conscience suddenly flared up
in even a grafter, for an employe devoted to the
opposition told me that there were certain rascali-
ties he could not indulge in for political purposes;
he had been asked to join in a plot to liberate the
criminal insane from the isolation house called the
"relief" in such a way as to make it appear that it
was due to my careless management. The fact that
iQurders and other crimes would have inevitably fol-
lowed did not make the grafters hesitate a moment.
The adjoining town held confederates Avho
afforded concealment of goods stolen from the hos-
pital, and it took so much time from caring for my
patients in ferreting out thefts ana stopping them,
that I felt my medical career giving way to mere
detective duty, but it could not be trusted to others.
I wanted to put in lock switches to keep the rail-
way company from running off with car loads of coal
after we had receipted for them, but the trustees
objected, nor would they favor a fence to keep out
FUN" WITH ILLIXOIS GRAFTERS l39
Altogether we were at sixes and sevens. My office
waste paper basket was ransacked nightly, and even
post office clerks did many crooked things to help cir-
cumvent that ^'damned reformer." My telegrams
were given to the gang before I saw them, orders to
sign requisitions in ink and close to last item so as
to prevent subsequent additions fraudulently were not
obeyed, and if I investigated abuse of a patient the
accused defied me with not having enough pull to
Saloon keeping senators were appealed to from
my decisions, bringing their wrath upon me. One
went to Governor Altgeld to demand to know what
kind of a "goddam feller" he had there as superin-
tendent. He complained that I had notified the legis-
lature that if it came in a body it would not be admit-
ted to the grounds, to run riot and get drunk about the
place, but that I would be glad to have a visiting
committee of a limited number of the members.
My best attendants were country jays unspoiled
by politicians, and these humane fellows were ob-
noxious to the gang. One of them had been ousted,
a witty fellow, and went to the little town to ask a
street railway boss, named Cobb, for a place.
So brusque was he that he opened the conversa-
tion with: "Say, Cobb, I want a job."
"What's your name?"
"Aleck of Iroquois."
"Do you know what we do to smart alecks down
^''No, but I know what we do to cobs in Iroquois ;
we burn 'em."
Actually corn was at one time cheaper to make
fires of than to sell to merchants in parts of Illinois.
I was told that legislators cut appropriations for
charity institutions unless promised part of the
money, and getting a request to come to the capital
to look after and explain estimates of expenses I
went to Springfield, sick with overwork and anxiety,
and found great rejoicing at a joke played on the
jay legislators, as they were called: the round balls
of soap in each room of the hotel they patronized
had been taken away and in their stead similar look-
ing balls of limburger cheese had been placed in the
soap dishes. Ringing of bells, running of waiters
and loud voices in halls followed, ^demanding to
know what was the matter with the water supply, for
the more they washed the more the;y stunk.
I was to meet the member of the lower house to
talk over the appropriations needed for the next two
years at the hospital, about half a million dollars, and
before sending up my card I was being shaved in
the hotel barber shop and happened to catch sight
of the legislator I sought reflected in the mirror next
to mine, but he had simultaneously seen my image
in my glass, but did not have time to change
the expression on his face as he looked at me. It was
as infernal a griuiace of rage and hatred as could be
assumed by an actor. He must have been one,
though, for when we met he was smiles, happy cordi-
FUN WITH ILLINOIS GRAFTERS 141
alitj and congratulations for the "great record I was
making in caring for the helpless insane/'
Here was a little incident that puzzled me then,
and still is not fully accounted for : Long before when
this legislator came to my office in Chicago and I
told him flatly that any boodling would be fought by
me if I took the superintendency, he asked, "but
you will be friendly to me ?" Of course, I said, and
I now think he imagined it was but demagogic bluff,
such as he was accustomed to hear from self styled
"reformers," for he appeared satisfied, and as he left
my office he waddled out with legs apart exactly as
I had noticed the boodler surveyor general do in
Dakota. I puzzled over the coincidence, and finally
left my mind a scientific blank on judging what it
could mean; it not being necessary for us to have
positive opinions on every subject, as the untrained
Quite recently I happened to read a description
of the penitentiary "lock step," and it tallied so
witJi the gait of these two politicians that it came as
a revelation; only neither had ever been jailed so far
as I had heard, and then I thought of possible hered-
ity; but the chances are that in their dim and dis-
tant past they had taken lessons in the lock-step, may
be at some reformatory, those wretched places that
graduate criminals and afford jobs for cruel saloon
I was asked to meet the house committee, and
found it in session with the chairman tij)sy and
142 Fui^ IN A
nervous from alcoholic gastritis. The appropriation
matter came up and when he asked votes on consid-
ering it he turned to me and wanted me to vote, but
I told him it was not customary for a superintendent
to vote in the house on appropriations for his place.
After listening to me awhile some one moved to go
into executive session and I had to leave the solons to
Then in the senate committee I was asked the
reasons for items, and was irritated bj disparaging,
insolent questions of one of the statesmen, who
seemed to intimate that he had been cut off from this
particular hog trough, and wanted revenge on those
who had four feet in it, thinking that I was one of the
Item by item I explained till finally coming to
$30,000 for painting buildings, I said that here was
evidently a mistake, for even $500 would be more
than enough for the present purpose.
It acted like a galvanic shock on the crowd, and
the suspicious member was dazed. Politicians
usually infer that you have something up your sleeve
if you are guileless.
"What did the house committee recommend?"
asked the chairman of the senate committee on appro-
I replied that I had not ascertained, as they went
into executive session, which served as a hint and a
senator immediately remarked, "I move we now go
into executive session," and I retired to learn after-
rUX WITH ILLIXOIS GRAFTERS 143
ward they had played hob with my estimate, as they
could "see nothing in it for themselves."
Some months later I asked Governor Altgeld if
he would not help me defeat the big thieves of the hos-
pital ; that I had suppressed some of the small ones.
Remarking, also, that it would be easy to steal a hun-
dred thousand dollars a year at my hospital with no
chance of detection beyond knowing that some one had
He stopped his pace up and down the guber-
natorial rooms and thought awhile, then said : "Doc-
tor, the machine is not satisfied with your administra-
tion and calls for your resignation."
"Very well, governor, the machine could not
have given me a greater compliment."
A year later Altgeld dropped dead on the plat-
form on which he was making a political speech.
An old lady to whom I remarked that so many
of the opposers of good in political institutions had
passed away, foolishly, instead of staying to enjoy
what they had schemed for, cogitated and suggested
that it was my reward to have been permitted to re-
main. Maybe, but I could hardly infer from these
matters that therefore my existence was to be pro-
And the good die young also.
Being the pioneer anti-boodler and anti-grafter
in the city of Chicago and State of Illinois, at a lime
when such fighting was regarded as foolish, hopeless,
and improper anyway, for spoils were legitimate pay
for party success, and no one but a damned 3rank
could think otherwise, I had learned by experience
that to have any effect upon the public statements
of atrocities at asylums must be made only when
politicians could take up the accusations to baste the
other side with.
I was a professor in a medical school in the city,
and took advantage of being asked to delivpr a doc-
torate address to the graduating class and its friends
In the address I gave the political care of the
insane a lambasting and had a reporter of the Tintes-
Herald, an influential paper, present to verify the
manuscript of my speech as delivered, and the next
morning it appeared with all the sensational head-
lines and capitalizing the public want in hori'ible
The dean of the school leaned toward those T
attacked, as there was a prospect of affiliation v/ith a
state university, and scolded me foi talking politico
instead of medicine and taking advantage of the
occasion to do so.
But a Hindoo proverb compares the man who
misses his chance to the monkey who misses his
Folks used to wonder why Dr. Doodle kept
"Sissy" as first assistant physioitiv on the hospital
staff when there were nine other young doctors who
could be understood when they spoke without getting
brain fag from overstraining one's attention and
listening ability in translating the wuh-wuh- woofs of a
cleft palate into intelligible speech. And I wondered,
Dr. Sissy aired his wuh-wuh-woofs in conversing
with visitors, instructing attendants, in intrigu-
ing with relatives of patients when they appeared
to have money, in long prayers at camp meetings
and even in singing.
This tiresome work made him object to rising
at night to see troublesome insane when called to do
so, and he allowed attendants to dope the patients
with a hellish mixture of chloral and laudanum from
a big bottle that I had expressly forbidden to be left
on the wards, intending that all doses should come
from the dispensary direct on prescriptions.
An accumulation of omissions and commissions
finally caused me to set Sissy back one number and
elevate one of the other assistants to the first assistant
146 rui^ IN A doctor's life
place. An industrions " 'iimble Uriah Heep" Dr.
Booby was selected. He was overwhelmed with the
honor and feared he was not competent and so forth
He had to be reassured and told that his horrible
spelling would be nothing compared to faithful ser-
vi ce ; and he was a hard worker.
Only his industry took a new direction as soon
as safely placed in charge, conducting staff-meetings,
talking to visitors, posing as a know-it-all to politi-
cians who could no more judge of the fitness of a
doctor for a position than they could of the possi-
bility of a fourth dimension, or a third, for that
He ingratiated himself with attendants by dining
with them ostentatiously, catering to vulgar ideas of
greatness by pomposity, niggery long words, patron-
izing manners to ^^inferiors" and cringing to "sup-
My other assistants looked on with an I-told-you-
so air, and I was informed that he had a numerously
signed petition to be appointed as superintendent in
my place. His qualifications being superficial ones
that strike ignorance favorably, and the fact that he
could make himself understood, but was sly about it,
as he thought, enabled him to get around among those
whom he thought were influental, but were not, and
by Uriah Heepism conceal his trickery and treachery.
Then I realized why Doodle kept Sissy in the
first assistant's place.
FOETUSES m BOOKS.
The handlers of books get rich, the writers of books
remain poor, as a rule. Publishers, booksellers, even
the dealers in second hand books, accumulate money
from unrecompensed toil, sacrifices and thought of
Imagine box makers and teamsters claiming the
contents of what they hand to you for sale !
See the great buildings filled with employees of
publishers and booksellers. If an author here and
there has a competence from his writings it is the
grand exception, due to some accident or to having
sunk ten times what he had made in learning how
to keep the rest from the filching publisher.
Uncle Tom's Cabin brought originally a hundred
dollars ; later when millions of copies had been issued
the author received five times as much as a gratuity,
a bone to the dog. The publisher must have lain
awake at nights afterward repenting his generosity.
In 1874 a IN'ew York scientific book publisher
brought out my first book, ^^ Surveying". I gave him
$650 for electrotyping 200 pages, ^^as figures cost
more to electrotype than plain reading," showing how
discriminating chemicals and batteries are. By 1908
I had received $924 in royalties at 50 cents per
copy, the publisher acknowledging his profits to be
$4620 on $2.50 per book, less 17 cents per copy co?t
of paper and binding, as well as presswork and every-
in other words, I paid all the expense and made
$274 on a book in 33 years' sales ; the publisher mak-
ing $4300 on the same book by his own account;
and how much more is only conjectural, for an
author has no means of verifying royalty accounts
Had the money been asked to guarantee the pub-
lisher from loss, the $650 would have had to be re-
turned to me, but experience taught publishers tricks
worth two of that, for by absorbing the foolish ad-
vance as "electrotyping expense, '^ the money re-
mains with the publisher.
My second book, '^Comparative Physiology and
Psychology," I also brought out at my own expense,
the book house whose imprint was put on the cover
at a trifling expense for advertising, made all there
was to be made out of the book, and I got barely my
money back on expense of printing, etc.
The book is now out of print, and I was asked
three times its original selling price when I tried to
buy a copy from a second hand dealer.
'Next came my "Artistic Anatomy and the Sci-
ences Useful to the Artist," lectures delivered at the
Art Institute in Chicago when I was professor of
anatomy there. Three publishers were mixed up in
the publishing and threatened each other and me
FORTUNES IN BOOKS 149
with lawsuits and the plates were burned in a print-
ing house fire, the '^American Lithographer" having,
however, printed the separate lectures serially.
Then my ^^Spinal Concussion" was brought out
in a very handsome shape by a Philadelphia publisher
who was constantly in the courts as a bankrupt, and
he induced me to put my royalties in the ^'Tarpon
Springs Improvement Company," the stock of which
years after, with other evidences I placed with a law-
yer to recover something for me out of the swindle,
but he ^^lost the papers."
The big book of my life, my "Medical Jurispru-
dence of Insanity," grives me to think of.
I have seen this work in two large volumes on
the shelves of public law libraries all over the United
States; well worn, well known and figuring in all
important suits, criminal and civil; often several
lawyers on both sides having copies, with physicians
owning the books also; though the name improperly
misled them into supposing it was a law book only,
when by thirty years' work it was both medical and
legal. After a plan of my own the clerks of the law
publishing house were instructed in appending com-
mon law decisions to my chapters, and through the
book I commented upon the legal parts, incorporating
it with my own medical work, the entire arrange-
ment being original with me, and I labored months
over the table of legal cases and the index, which I
would entrust to no one.
The publisher had a signature like a picket fence
in a snow storm, a chevaux de frise, or set of stalag*-
mites and stalactities ; an egotistical assumption that
the earth had nothing to do but decipher the heiro-
glyph. A species of paranoia.
The contract gave me no royalties till 600 had
been sold ; a few years passed and I occasionally got
a few dollars, at the pleasure and figures of the pub-
lisher, surprisingly increased in amount at times by
clerks, on the absence of heads of the house. Such
accidents were treated as mistakes and deductions
were made from the next time. Honest clerks are not
in the confidence of the principals, always.
Searching for some medico-legal information I
once dropped into the law library at the City Hall
in Philadelphia, and when I asked for works on
medical jurisprudence of insanity the genial librarian
placed my own books before me with the agreeable
statement that lawyers always called for these
volumes as the best on the subject. These copies
were dog eared, greasy, thumb worn. "But,'' he went
on, "here is something recent and not so well known."
^N'oticing the names on the cover back, "Wharton
& Stille," I told him that these authors were dead
long ago, and that their work was antiquated and
worthless, and in the first place neither of them knew
anything of insanity, one being a good chemist and
the other a jurist.
But, to my amazement, my publisher had taken
the contents of my "Jurisprudence" and put it into
the dead men's books, utterly plagiarizing my mater-
FORTUNES IN BOOKS 151
ial and apparently, in some instances, printing it
from the same plates ; at least there were identical
pages, but most had been jumbled to avoid recogni-
tion, the medical part especially showing inexper-
ienced treatment; ad captandum and superficial as
though some tyro had engaged to edit the old frauds
into life and had made a monstrosity.
A lawyer said I had a good case and corres-
ponded with the publisher, finally settling things to
their mutual satisfaction, but as I was not in their
confidence I never knew how the matter came out.
Royalties were immediately lessened still fur-
ther, though I knew that activity had been made in
sales through an exciting insanity inquiry of national
interest. Revenge for some expense seemed to be
due them, and despairing of ever getting anything
more from the work I offered the publisher my copy-
right for $1000. It was worth $10,000 if a cent.
But as I had unwisely mentioned to the man with
the worm fence signature that I was hard up,
he forthwith proceeded to ignore my letters
for six months, and finally haggled down to a hundred
dollar offer, ending triumphantly by sending me a
check for two hundred dollars for trasferring all my
right, title and interest in a book that had been built
up out of my brain and blood, so to speak ; that had
cost me at least fifty thousand dollars in training, ex-
pense of books, travel and time through neglect of
other means of earning while accumulating the
materials and writing it. Indeed, my small sanitar-
ium went to smash while putting the book in shape
for printing ; the dead beats getting in big board bills,
happy in seeing what an absent minded ass had charge
Later works of mine were published by the
Evolution Publishing Company, of Atlantic City,
'New Jersey, which I organized imder the laws of that
State, and business relations between author and pub-
lisher are now as they should be, and I hope to build
up an institution that will be a credit to the country
in introducing strictly honest methods into the pub-
lishing business, to the complete satisfaction of
authors. "Respectable and important concerns'' need
check systems on their affairs with customers just
as corporations have bell registers for those they hire.
Of course you have your redress in law.
If you had seen what I have through thirty years'
familiarity with courts, judges and lawyers in Chi-
cago, you would not be able to smile any wider, unless
you set your ears back, over that advice.
Publishers know the helplessness of authors and
are appropriately known as wolves.
If publishers and book dealers ever tell you that
they don't know anything bout this book you can guess
Publishers claim they lose money on many poor
books. They do not consider that it is because of
their imbecile judgment in passing uiDon books they
fancy are suitable for publication. I^ine-tenths of
the publishers would have refused manuscript froni
:t^ORTUNES IN BOOKS 158
Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, Schiller, Tom Hood, or
others equally liable to make fortunes for them, and
money making is the only incentive they have to brino'
out any book. They have not even the business saga-
city that corresponds with their business rapacity
to discern the public inclination to buy certain books ;
they are always astonished when a book proves popu-
lar, wondering what the buyers can see in a thing
they put forth reluctantly, and if they do make money
out of what they have murdered the author for, by
screwing the life out of him on the price, and insult-
ing him by striking out parts and inserting foolish
things of their own, they then plume themselves on
their sagacity. But we should hear the Goldsmiths,
the Thackerays and Carlyles as to that. Jeffries
slashed Carlyle's writings and made changes till he
finally refused them altogether as not good enough
for the Edinburgh Review.
I saw a little work on the relations of author and
publisher written by one of the latter class, and you
would think publishers were all good and righteous
men, who die poor, and that all authors are unreason-
able folks. Why then do publishers tax what is left
of themselves by cirrhosis and nephritis, induced by
eating and drinking up poor authors, to smell out
another possible fortune through beating another
jackass genius out of his life-work?
Who are these pot-bellied minotaurs or baby-eat-
ing crocodiles, arrogating to themselves the right to
pass upon what the public shall read?
154 TV^ tN A doctor's LTFi)
Suppose the man who made your boxes to move
your goods in demanded ninety per cent, of their
contents, or often stole all the contents. Imagine the
farmer sending his goods to market and the truck-
ster getting all the money, flinging the overworked
jay what he pleased. But the commission merchant
sometimes does this very thing ; lying about the price
of sales; saying that goods were spoiled and had to
be thrown away. Goods so superior that he had
taken extra prices for them from purchasers.
Fancy the writer, hat in hand, approaching the
frowning potentate, surfeited on the brains of the very
author before him, and being insolently asked what
in blazes he wanted now; imagine the author meekly
saying that he did not know what was due him on
royalties, whether it was five cents or five thousand
dollars, and had come to inquire
"Why, five cents, of course, and wipe your
feet when you enter the presence of a gentle-
This is "Business," and the next scene is where
he chuckles over how he bluffed the sucker, when he
had thousands due the poor fellow, over and above
the hundreds of thousands he had made from the
Eeviews from being formerly vindictive and
churlish are now inane, idiotic.
Write your own review, and in most cases if it
accompany the book it will be printed as you wrote it.
I tried this once with a work of mine and ninety-five
t'OETUNES IIT BOOKS 155
per cent, of the reviewers had been saved the fatigue
of getting up any remarks.
A ten year old school boy could have written more
sensibly about my "Comparative Psychology'' than
did a little politician who wanted to praise it and did
not know enough chemistry to prevent his confusing
the formula of common water with that of sulphuric
acid, when he was assistant editor of the "Journal of
the American Medical Association" m 1884.
I have seen numbers of "reviewers" try to read
"Uncut pages here and there in a book, saying "I spose
I have to say something about this thing, and I don't
know anything about the matter," before he hurried
the book to the second hand dealer. Clerks reviewing
scientific works !
BEGEADED EXPERT BUSINESS.
In old times Dyche's drug store was the meeting
place for doctors and the waiting place for horse car
passengers, and the drug clerks got up flirtations
occasionally with casual customers, and gujed each
other unmercifully over some of the comicalities hap-
pening. An elderly beauty fell in love with a boy
behind the counter and the other clerks stole the love
letters and read them to the public.
One day Dr. Baxter, a good surgeon, and Dr.
Quine, a famous therapeutist, were talking at Dyche's
when I entered. Baxter at once asked me what was the
trouble out at the insane asylum that telephone mes-
sages were not taken to the doctors. He said that he
had tried to reach me quickly to serve as an expert
on the insanity issue in Wilbur F. Story's will con-
test, but politicians at the asylum from pure malice
would not notify me about messages.
Expert fees were a hundred dollars a day, and
this contest lasted some weeks, so as the saloon keepers
were not friendly to me they revenged themselves for
my denunciations of their thievery by chopping me
out of considerable business.
But Baxter made the remark that no one knew
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 15 Y
anything about insanity, anyway, and my friend
Quine was inclined to agree with him. Either one
or the other of these able practitioners told of a
judge turning to him on the witness stand saying,
when a question of sanity came up : ^'Doctor, I don't
know anything about insanity; do you?" and the
witness acknowledged that he did not; and it was
bad enough at that stage, but my dander began to
assert itself when there was mutual agreement ap-
plauded by bystanding physicians that no one else
knew anything about insanity, either.
For about half an hour those innocents got an
opinion of such rank assertions based on the fact
that while surgery and certain recognized branches
of medicine had grown scientific and eifective
through the studies of intellectual men, it was an
evidence of the relativity of knowledge that there
should be confessions of ignorance of what was being
accomplished in collateral fields, and, worst of all,
such gross ignorance as to be unaware of how ignorant
they were; well educated jurists, eminent surgeons
and physicians making such abominably degrading
admissions and unjustified assertions.
In these early 80's it was quite an honor to be
called into court as an expert on any question. Of
course an expert can be such in any line of business
or profession, and the medical expert is but one sort
of the specially skilled or informed who appeared in
court to give testimony on his opinion.
In the course of thirty years familiarity with the
158 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
courts and lawyers of this entire country what I have
observed in the way of evolution and involution
makes me feel as though I had been present through
centuries of getting at the true inwardness of '^equity,
justice, law," and at the time I began as an expert in
insanity and nervous diseases it seemed to me pos-
sible for one to testify and preserve his self respect;
courts were fair, lawyers had regard for genuine
learning, juries were innocent fellows, witnesses were
really such, and research had a recognized place in
what all in the court room listened to. ^N'otwith-
standing the fact that brow-beating and trickery ex-
isted to some extent even then, the proceedings had
not advanced to what we can now see. Though the
witness was sworn to tell ^^the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth,'' and both sides did all
they could to keep you from doing so, and had you
insisted on it the court would have sent you to jail,
witnesses were not the abject things now to be seen
and heard in many courts, made such by the changes
for the worse I have noted through the past quarter
I have known judges trying men for their lives
on the issue of insanity, to suppress ev^idence through
their leaning to the side of popular clamor, just as
Pontias Pilate did when Eome, and not the Jews, as
claimed, executed an innocent man as a criminal.
That celebrated truckler washed his hands liter-
ally and figuratively of responsibility by throwing it
upon some one else, as the modem judge may blame
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 159
the law for his decision, when he may make a per-
verted interpretation of that same law to favor the
A judge on the bench in Chicago berated a lawyer
for his rascally adroitness in forcing decisions upon
the notice of the court so that injustice would have to
be done. The law giving him no alternative to decide
as his inclinations prompted. Those initiated knew
the judge held a roll of money in his pocket with one
hand while he gesticulated his indignation with the
One of the first hints I experienced of the way
things were tending with the expert business was in
a recess of the court when a case of head injury re-
sponsibility was on trial and I had refused to go
beyond rigid adherence to truth concerning the effects
of such injuries, as that one might have a serious
appearing wound of the head and yet escape insan-
ity therefrom. The lawyer wanted me to say that
insanity was inevitable in such accidents and
I told him I would not make an ass of myself
in any such way. He turned on me with the
angry declaration that: ^'You think more of your
damned reputation than you do of our winning
I told him I would be proud of a certificate to
that effect in writing and signed by him.
But I had plenty of the esprit du corps, for once
engaging in a case and being convinced that I was
on the right side I assisted the lawyers by all justi-
fiable nutans to win it. Often even putting myself
in the background, as few experts are willing to do,
in unifying the subordinate experts' testimony.
Sometimes inexperienced physicians were illy up in
the specialties and were likely to ventilate their crude
and erroneous notions on such matters when testify-
ing, to the delight of opponents, and I made it a rule
to test the knowledge of such doctors and post them
on the literature of whatever aspect of insanity or
nervous diseases happened to be in question.
Once in an important case there was an old real
estate dealer who had been a country doctor, and
according to his neighbors he had forgotten more
medicine than lots of doctors ever knew. I never saw
the sense of urging such a statement as a reason for
employing the forgetter, for the same may be said of
a dement or a dead man. But the dear people have
their old saws to cling to in lieu of logic, and they
save brain work.
Well, this old real estate dealer had attended a
spinal injury case and knew as much about it as a
hog does of Sunday, and the knowledge never was
attainable for him, because the whole matter of spinal
anatomy and diseases had evolved since he left the
practice of medicine for his lots, houses and acres
He had to be brought into the case anyway,
whether we relished it or not, so I took the old chap in
hand and polished him up until he was stuffed with
modem knowledge of the spine and its disorders.
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 161
Quizzing him till he rolled things off like a parrot,
and his head visibly swelled in the process.
One of the first things I impressed upon him was
to be able to answer promptly certain catch questions
invariably asked in these contests, particularly by rail-
way surgeons who have a stock job lot of misinforma-
tion bunched with a few real points in histology or
seldom used anatomy. One of these questions related
to how far down the back the spinal cord extended,
some being inclined to run it into the sacrum or even
the coccyx, and plenty of ^ ^successful" practitioners
would not know but that it went to the heels.
On the witness stand the venerable Dr. Realestate
looked as though he knew everything, and in came a
railway surgeon who bent over the attorney for the
road whispering, and I remarked to the plaintiff's
lawyer, "there is that old chestnut coming," and sure
enough the railway lawyer on cross examination at
once pompously asked: "Please t^ll the jury how far
down the back the spinal cord goes." And he
promptly and properly responded: "To about the
small of the back," which was better understood than
any remarks about dorso-lumbar junctions or second
Through the direct and cross examination for
hours this old "forgetter" shone resplendant ; some
lesser medical witnesses who knew vastly more than
the old fraud ever had known played second fiddle
to him, in the estimation of the judge and jury, and
when it came to my turn I felt as though the impres-
102 FUN IN A doctor's IJFE
sion I gave in this orchestra was that of making the
best music I knew how from a penny whistle. Every-
one looked bored.
The satisfaction I had was in the relative size
of fees for the medical services, mine being at the
rate of a hundred a day, the others twenty-five dovni
to ten dollars daily. Dr. Realestate being in the
One of the characteristic aggravations of such
contests being that while the lawyer on my side knew
precisely what the relative importance of our services
was; that the "great experts'' were manufactured,
and though no lies had been uttered things were not
at all as they seemed, for the insignificant experts
were the ones who did all the real work in the case
and pretty polls came off with the admiration; the
confounded tricky attorney had the impudence to
suggest that my fees should be cut to the level of
the others, considering the mere corroborative testi-
mony I gave in court, the others going into main
details, also when I was at his elbow prompting him
on every medical examination question.
My Irish got the better of me and a repetition of
the suggestion he felt would be dangerous.
Among several very honest judges I recall Walter
Q. Gresham, who became fond of me during the
years I appeared in his court, and he once charged a
federal jury to rely upon statements I had made as
to the worth of electrical tests of muscles and nerves
in determining the extent and probable outcome of
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 163
paralysis, as he had always found my testimony to be
truthful, a statement of which I am justly proud, all
the more so as it was made by one who served his
country as a general ably and as judge and secretary
of state bore the highest reputation. He was known
as always inclined to assist the weak and defenceless
against the wicked strong, and in the same case re-
ferred to, some detectives swore that they had trapped
the paralyzed defendant into a panel game where the
"indignant husband" entered and the paralyzed man
walked three steps as the detectives claimed. Judge
Gresham told the jury that immorality of a defendant
would be no excuse for the ^NTorthern Pacific railway
crushing this man's spine by their negligence in not
removing an overhanging boulder that was shaken
from a hill into the engine where the plaintiff was
"You need not believe such cattle," said the
judge, "and anyway, the circumstances were enough
to have made a dead man walk!"
The expert service brought me into several States
though most of the attendance was upon federal and
superior courts in Chicago. In Ohio I had a spinal
injury case at Zanesville and a murder case at Fre-
mont. The first was in prosecuting the city for a
sewer left open into which a citizen fell and was
badly hurt, the trial dragged through several sessions
and we finally won. My book on spinal concussion
had been out for some years by that time. One of
the incidents in the trial being that I had observed
a physician for the city fooling a pulse with his
thumb, and when he took the stand advised the
plaintiif's attorney to have the doctor show the court
how ho f( It a pulse. It discredited the poor fellow's
testimony greatly, but he learned physiology in a way
not likely to be forgotten, — or forgiven.
The other Ohio case was conducted by Mr.
Withey, the prosecuting attorney for the county Fre-
mont is in. This is where ex-presidcnt Hayes re-
sided, and his mansion is about as queer a looking
barracks as I ever saw. But maybe he intended it
for a public charity institution, as it resembles one
closely in its uniformity of windows, doors and
plain front with a multitude of rooms.
The murderer had blovni up the father-in-law he
hoped to have with dynamite, because the old man
sent him away from persecuting his daughter.
The prisoner I found to be a typical degenerate
and wholly irresponsible, so ordinarily a State's
attorney would have dropped me for some one more
inclined to hang the culprit, but Withey asked me if
there was any procedure that could be adopted in-
stead of an effort to execute him, and the upshot of the
conference was that we arranged a programme that
our consciences approved and yet enabled us to do
our duty by the State of Ohio.
The deed itself was proven by the State, consum-
ing much time, but the cross examination was evi-
dently directed to the insanity defense, and the
attorneys for the prisoner were puzzled over Withey
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 165
not bothering much about that aspect on re-direct
examination of State witnesses or cross-examination
of defence witnesses.
I was treated to the spectacle of a most excellent
local surgeon, who was a credit to his town on modern
bacteriology and general medicine, taking the witness
stand and ventilating himself of the most childish
nonsense regarding insanity, ^ot a single author
worth reading on that subject did he know, and it
left the impression that the expert fee had induced
him to venture beyond his depth and he was pulled
out nearly drowned by the information that deluged
him through cross-examination.
But the event of the trial was the silent accept-
ance by Withey of all that bore upon the degeneracy
of the prisoner while discrediting the ideas of insan-
ity as put forth by the misinformed witnesses for the
defence, such as epilepsy, paranoia, etc. Finally,
when I took the stand and admitted that the slayer
was not only a degenerate but irresponsible, the de-
fence in a burst of fear that wind had been taken
out of their sails broke out with: ^^Then, admitting
the degeneracy and irresponsibility of the accused,
you would favor his being hanged, would you ?"
"]N'o sir, by no means."
"What, then you think he should be imprisoned
"Yes, but not in a penitentiary."
"Please explain what you mean by such contra-
166 T'UN IN A DOCTOR^S LII^EJ
^^AYell, as the man is irresponsible and dangerods
to society while at large/' I explained, "he should bef
kept from harming others in future in a suitable
place for criminal insane."
Withey told the lawyer he gave him an oppor-
tunity to earn his fees by not springing the sensa-»
tional admission too soon, but like Job, he refused to
be comforted and sought sarcasm for vengeance.
ITeither Withey nor I believed in capital punish-
ment, and we agreed that the prisoner was too irre-
sponsible to be sent to the penitentiary, but it was the
prosecutor's duty to present all there was in the case
to the jury for their consideration and disposal.
How much better this was than the usual vindic-
tive, narrow minded insistence upon hanging any-
body and everybody accused whether guilty or not,
insane or not, merely to make a record of many con-
victions to offset the releases of rascally rich in some
instances. We can't let everybody off, so we will only
liberate those who pay.
Like the man who did not invite his father and
mother to his wedding, because "the line has to be
drawn somewhere, we can't invite everybody."
Summoned to the defence of a murderer at She-
boygan, Wisconsin, I was unprepared to find the
prisoner playing cards at a saloon while on parole.
There was no death penalty in that State, but I do^
not even now comprehend how the old farmer could
have been "paroled" under the circumstances.
On the trial it was shown that he left food out o^
DiEOKAtoEt) EXPERT BUSINESS 167
doors for the fairies, as was done in Ireland, among
other things indicating a mental twist and the State's
attorney wanted to know if acting upon a generally
accepted belief as the Irish peasantry did was evidence
of insanity. When such superstition was adhered to
in this century and distance from where it was com-
mon, and in spite of all the means of enlightenment
that could be in America, I regarded retention of
such a fancy and especially acting upon it as no
evidence of mental soundness to say the least.
An expert in this trial defined insanity as a dis-
ease of the brain affecting the mind, causing the
person to think, feel and act differently from
I had him asked if he were set down on a pin, or
the middle of China, suddenly, if he would not act,
think and feel that way, and if insanity did not exist
without brain disease, and brain disease exist without
Some years later I heard this same definition at
■a medical society meeting in Boston, only the last
part included the words "causing the person to act,
think and feel differently from what could be expected
from the training, heredity and education of the
In the discussion I cited the instance of Father
Mabillon, mentioned by Winslow, who was born an
-idiot in a family of idiots, and who fell down stairs,
^cracking his skull and developed from idiocy into a
genius in memory and intellect.
1G8 FUN IN A doctor's LTFK
!N^nw this was not what was to be (^xpectod from
previous training, heredity or education of the idiot,
and was an instance of sanity included in the very
definition offered for insanity.
The ( ssayist on the '^Criteria of Insanity," who
suggested the deiiniti()n, was the first to laugh, then the
chairman and finally the entire assembly of physi-
cians, among whom were the two doctors Jelly, the
alienists, who will remember the matter.
Which carries me back to Loomis' definition of
ball lightning that amused the signal service sergeants
so much in old times : "Ball lightning is an agglomera-
tion of ponderable substances, in a state of great tenu-
ity, highly charged with electricity.'^
The fact is insanity or sanity can no more be suffi-
ciently defined than can life, health or disease, and it
is not worth while to attempt to define it. Lawyers
can bother you on any trial if you advance a defini-
tion of anything, especially insanity. I always dis-
missed it as "an absence of sanity."
At a murder trial in JanesvillCj Wisconsin, the
result was satisfactory to the parties who had engaged
me, in acquitting a half-witted victim of a scoundrel.
She had disposed of her infant, but we showed her
complete inability to comprehend the offence in any
way. Her uncle paid a fine of $500 on a technicality
by pleading guilty, and escaping the uncertain consid-
eration of a jury. Though it was too bad to punish
the uncle in saving the imbecile, I felt happy about
the way the case terminated, not but that a better dis-
Degraded expert business 169
posal could have been made of it; and joked the little
newsboy while waiting for a train, having bought a
few papers noticing the trial; I then asked him for
tomorrow's paper. He said it was not out yet but he
could get it when it was out. I offered him a dollar
for a copy if he gave it to me today. "Where will
you be tomorrow ?'' he asked.
''In Chicago, I suppose," I replied.
"You leave the dollar and I will send it to you.'^
"That isn't the thing, for I want it today."
As I climbed on the train the newsboy called
out to the conductor; "Say, you wanter look out fer
that feller, hez plumb crazy!" So the boy inno-
cently returned the joke on me, and probably has
often told what a durn fool once asked him to do.
In a trial in Council Bluffs, Iowa, I had to over*
come the sinister appearance of a provokingly big
stye in my eye while testifying in a spinal injury
case, and was telling of a new German test of pain
in the heart acceleration when pressure was made on
the alleged painful spot. Someway the railway
attorney had been well posted and had hit upon a
remarkable ability to increase the action of his heart
at will, probably by holding his breath, and the
laugh was on me when I exhibited surprise, for no
mention of such a contingency had appeared in our
medical literature before, but I took the news to
Chicago and the experts handled Mankopf's objec-
tive test of a subjective symptom very gingerly after
that story got around among my medical friends*
VtO FUN IN A doctor's LIF^
At Lincoln, I^ebraska, the State engaged me to
look after the insanity claim of a man who shot
a prominent banker for invading his home. I knew
the man would be acquitted but merely testified as
to the transitory frenzy plea, which was rank non-
sense in that instance, for the shooter remembered
everything and was provoked beyond endurance.
The defence sagely secured a jury of farmers every
One of whom had daughters.
As the hypothetical question was used it was not
necessary to refer to the testimony in this case but
only to the garbled portions the lawyers on each side
selected to pass upon while withholding facts telling
against his side.
Excuse me for taking a fling at this hypothetical
case barbarism, I can't resist a chance to howl down
a wrong in or out of season, and of all the legal fic-
tions that hypothetical presentation to witnesses is
the most imbecile and does the most injustice to
everybody in the court room. For the expert is
hampered from considering real facts as they have
been brought out in the contest at expense to both
sides, and the jury are bewildered and lose their
respect for the sanity of law proceedings, when they
are told to disregard anything a witness says about
the real issue and to only consider the fictitious
assemblage of stories bearing as far away from the
truth as possible, the judge is rendered more illogi-
"cal by trying to excuse such nonsense, the witnesses
are justified in their contempt of such jackass capers
t)EGEADED EXPERT BUSINESS Ifl
oii the part of counsel, as shutting out any thing but
fairy stories, and it is a toss up if plaintiff or defen-
dant will be harmed the most by this suppression of
reality and substitution of lies, verbiage, false con-
dusions and adroitness. As well propound: ^'If the
boat is two hundred feet long, and the flagstaff sixty
feet high, how old is the captain ?"
To relieve the boredom of sitting in court while
attorneys are wrangling physicians present are apt
to talk among themselves, sonietimes above the
whisper customary in such places.
In a sidewalk injury case, Drs. Baxter, Church
and I wei'e in attendance before Judge Ketelle, an
able, conscientious man. Mr. Bottom was the city
attorney, and both he and the judge had high pitched
squeaky voices, so when in arguing a motion and the
court was passing upon it, both of them excitedly,
their falsetto high octaves, one a note or so below
the other, sounded funny enough and reminded me of
a story but Church told the sequel to it, and not notic-^
ing that eyes were fastened on us and ears were
cocked, we gave the impression of mimicking the
speech that amused us, but we were merely telling
of similar instances of tenors and altos, and as we
three snorted sitting immediately in front of the
throne, we suddenly became aware of indignant
glares from the bench and bar, and for a few
moments felt as though twenty-five dollars at least
Was about to leave each of our pockets for the les^
majeste called contempt of court.-
172 Vvn TN A nOOtOR^S LIFE
The bailiff has the most importance in a court
room, particularly if promoted from being a bar-
room '^bouncer," with the decadence of republican
and democratic simplicity the judges have assumed
gowns and are working toward bag wigs and wool
sacks. Some courts even have all in attendance rise
as the judge enters. An old Jersey judge, however,
is said to preserve miostentatious manners bordering
on the undignified to such an extent that he has
opened court by calling to the bailiff: "Say, Bill,
take that damned thing of yours and rap this court
to order!" He would comment on the foolishness of
wearing a "Mother Hubbard" in court on hot days.
Judge Goggin, of Chicago, was a genial chap of
that sort. Once in a case where a lady was injured
by falling though a sidewalk, an attorney named Case
was questioning me about books I had written, when
Goggin interrupted with: "ISTever mind telling the
jury about books, though as Bobby Burns says : " 'a
book's a book, although there's nothing in it." Any
one can write books, and it's no measure of ability.
1 wrote one myself once and paid $150 to have it
printed. Besides Puterbaugh wrote a Practice of
Law that got lawyers in jail for following its
The Irish attorney, promptly with the quick wit
of his people, replied: "And so has the Bible, yer
When Clarence Darrow was attorney for the
Chicago and Xorthwestcrn railway he appointed me
DEGEADED EXPEET BUSINESS 173
neurologist for the road, and settled claims fairly on
my advice, but a new administration threw us out and
fought all damage suits, just or unjust.
The ISTorthern Pacific had the reputation of re-
fusing to buy a coffin for one it had run over.
A pin-head lawyer advised his particular railway
company to influence the selection of members of the
supreme court favorable to the road, so that when
judgments were appealed they would be reversed.
And some of the Illinois decisions read as though that
advice may have been acted upon.
A young Jew was indicted for stealing a horse
and his cousin, an attorney, engaged me to pass upon
the sanity of the prisoner. On the trial I gave the
judge full reasons for declaring the man to be an
imbecile, and the judge asked me if there was any
further aspect of the case that would assist the jury
in finding the man to be mentally unsound.
"Yes, your honor," I added, "the fact that the
prisoner is a Hebrew."
This took the court aback, and puzzled others till
I explained that it was far from characteristic of
Jews to acquire horses that way. Sane Hebrews
could secure property in much safer business trans-
The attorney asked me to give him a receipt for
one hundred dollars for expert services, which he
would send to Germany as evidence of the expense of
the suit, and when the relatives remitted he would
pay me. That ended the transaction, for I never heard
whether they had remitted or not, so if they had
done so the relationship was in keeping with my re-
marks that there were safer ways to skin people or
cats than by stealing horses.
Which reminds me of a widow who brought my
bill for services in attending her husband the year
previous to his death and asked me to please receipt
the account in full, as the judge of probate required
evidence that physicians had been settled with be-
fore handing the estate over to her, and as she could
only get money when the estate was settled she would
then bring me the pay. I obliged her, with pleasure,
and six months after asked if the estate had been
settled. It had. In surprise I asked if she had over-
looked my account.
^^Why, no," said she, and looking me squarely in
the eye, "don't you remember, you gave me a receipt
I have acquired considerable psychological infor-
mation of a practical sort, but hated to feel flabber-
gasted, if that expresses it, in encountering it.
My old Quaker friend the Commodore out West,
used to say : "The more I know about men the better
I like dogs!"
Quite a series of incidents following my testify-
ing in a head injury case, the plaintiff giving me a
note for a hundred dollars, which was not paid when
due; the case came up again and I refused to attend
court, but by a recent brilliant ruling of the Illinois
Supreme Court an expert in medicine could be com-
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS l75
pelled to serve by a subpoena and give expert testi-
mony without compensation. It would be fun to see
such a ruling worked on lawyers as to their services
in expert testifying. So I went and repeated the pre-
vious testimony, as the lawyer knew I would do, or
would not have run the risk of forcing me to attend ;
and I could have ruined his case had I been capable
of the trickery I have often seen in proceedings. I,
even then, had to put the note into the hands of a
lawyer to collect, which he did and charged me the
hundred dollars for doing so. Someone asked the
stenographer of the lawyer if she thought that was
fair, and on her saying that it certainly was, the gen-
tleman remarked to her : ^' You must be in receipt of a
One collecting firm used to keep physicians' ac-
counts, doing nothing to collect them and finding the
doctor had got money on them immediately force
their percentage or send a constable for it. Among
such scamps I told one that the bill he had been hold-
ing a year I had collected myself and he demanded
half of it, which I regarded as unjust, and it ended
in my paying a constable twice as much as the collec-
tion that I had made.
Justice courts at one time in Chicago were burg-
larious as the police force of Philadelphia became
There was a sensational shooting case in Chicago,
where a banker had sought a divorce from the shooter,
and she plead insanity. I was in the trial contesting
the insanity issue two weeks and knew enough of the
banker to get my per diem every morning bef(jre court
opened. I sat at the side of the assistant State's attor-
ney and wrote every question for him to ask the ex-
perts on both sides : then I abstracted the evidence for
him so all he had to do was to turn over the pages of
the abstract to get at every word on record ; and even
made an index to the abstract.
He was on the emotional order, fond of kneeling
to the jury with camp meeting appeals for conviction.
Logic had no place in his composition. He affected
Napoleonic poses in open carriages, wore long hair
with Byronic collars, and was very much "stuck on
To my utter disgust the abstract was not even
glanced at, but he went off into objurgations, calling
the defendant a vampire, a volcano, an anarchist, and
other such names ; relying upon ' 'oratory" rather than
common sense for her conviction. His "argument"
would alone have secured her acquittal.
An expert witness who knew everything was asked
about a certain author on insanity whose name I had
never heard before, but the omniscient one had, and
was quite familiar with the case that the lawyer read
from the book of the author mentioned. The lawyer
then plucked some written pages from Hoyle on
games, from which he had been reading, holding the
writing up as a fabrication of his own.
Another smart lawyer was well crammed on anat-
omy and made a habit of quizzing medical witnesses
DEGEADED EXPERT BUSINESS 177
thereon whether relevant or not. Once in the Federal
court he went miles out of the way of the testimony
to ask me if I could give "Eobbins' law of the devel-
opment of the temporal bone." Knowing the limita-
tions of his anatomical stuffing, I asked him if he
referred to the iter e tertio ad quartum ventriculum
or to the levator labii superioris alaequae nasi. He
said that he "guessed he did." And the trial went
along on other lines.
This lawyer was a friend of mine, and when the
governor appointed me superintendent of the State
hospital this lawyer asked me to come to his office
to meet a state senator who was to approve the
appointment. This dignitary looked me over silently,
nodded his head and left. Later I ascertained that
the senator kept a large free and easy saloon, but that
did not surprise me as whiskey dealers held most
power in general politics, but it ruffled me to think
that in both my asylum appointments whiskey had to
approve the official.
One incident I cannot forget. During a trial
of a head injury railroad accident case, January 11th,
1897, word was brought to me that to see my mother
alive I must come at once. The judge excused me
and both lawyers took up non-medical issues kindly,
to oblige me, for the day and I reached her house in
time to hear her last words and hold her head on my
arm as she passed away, at 82 years of age.
At Richmond, Indiana, a will contest over six
hundred and sixty thousand dollars dragged along
178 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
for a year or more, when T was sent for to pass upon
a hypothetical question each side had prepared, of
about a thousand pages. Ex-president Ben. Harrison
was attorney for contestant and seemed to be about
such a lawyer as those in Chicago courts, so with my
nil admirari inclinations he failed to yell and scare
me down with his browbeating methods. I had
been half a day on the stand on direct examination^
and Ben. Harrison took me up on cross-examination
the next entire day, save during the noon recess, when
I met him and reminded him that my father had made
the marble bust of his grandfather William Henry
Harrison, the former general and president.
That afternoon he changed his method of ques-
tioning to a gentlemanly tone, and succeeded better
in throwing me off my guard; molasses catches flies
better than vinegar. But the stenographer and pre-
siding judge were political toadies, the one afraid to
interrupt the ex-president, and the other having in
view possible resumption of power by the ex-president
and a show at a job in the supreme court; both
"bending the pregnant hinges of the knee, that thrift
may follow fawning." The court reporter, when
Harrison asked questions too fast, would address him-
self to me and complain of my answering too rapidly.
Member of Congress Johnson, who opposed our Span-
ish war, was the counsel on my side and finally blew
Mr. Stenographer up for his hypocritical trickery.
I often refused to answer a question by asking: "Do
you think that is a fair question, general V^ instead
DEGEADED EXPEET BUSINESS 179
of showing discomfiture as other witnesses had when
inexperienced in legal bluffing.
The case was finally compromised, just half the
estate having been used up in the court proceedings.
The heirs wisely concluded to divide the remainder.
A will was being made by a dying woman and Mr.
Buck, a good attorney of ISTew Orleans, dictated the
legal language to me as I wrote it at her bedside, and
she named the bequests and the amounts to each, and
I shall always admire Buck's justifiable suggestion to
the lady in wording the will to save her from a piece
of folly in erecting her tomb. She said: ^^And I
direct that twenty thousand dollars be expended for
my tomb," Buck quietly interposed : "You mean that
not more than twenty thousand dollars," and she
adopted the change and dictated it in those words,
which would enable the heirs to spend what they
pleased, and there was no thousand expended on it.
A brother-in-law, after a contest, came off with the
property and rapidly drank it up ; saloon keepers be-
coming the real heirs.
I have seen so much undue influence tried where
there was wealth that I have come to pity those with
money enough to attract the buzzards.
During a murder trial at Woodstock, Illinois, an
attorney twitted me with having been in the signal
service, the engineer corps and having been a govern-
ment surveyor, to show the jury that I could not know
anything of insanity.
After the trial a juryman told this attorney that
180 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
ho had made the niistal-cf of bis lifo in trying to make
fun of a surveyor, for said ho: ''The jury was made
up of farmers, who when a surveyor comes around
bc^g him to make noon marks on their door sills, an^
date all their new stock of information on all topics
from the surveyor's visit. They look up to him as
being a little tin god, and would expect him to know
insanity whether any one else did or not.
At another trial in this part of the State, I met
with a peculiar freaky mental development. Luther
Laflin Mills, the lawyer of Chicago, told me that
people urged him to take as an expert witness an old
doctor who was looked upon as a soit of cyclopaedia,
as the jurymen would accept all his views as gospel.
Mills asked me to sound the old chap on his being read
up and experienced in insanity matters. I was
astonished and pleased to have him recite to me ac-
curate descriptions of the form of insanity under dis-
cussion in the court, and recognizing the source of
the knowledge, I told him he quoted Spitzka word for
word, and then I asked him about other forms of in-
sanity, but he was in too great a hurry to remain,
and would see me again. As he went out the door
the hotel-keeper looked after him reverently and said
to me: "That is a wonderful man! Why, he can read
a newspaper once and repeat every word of it after-
I told Mills to be very careful to confine him to
his cramming, but talking over the freak with the
attorney on the other side, he said that the reason
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSIiS^ESS 181
why he didn't expose the old fraud and his one-
sided accomplishments was that the jury would have
resented any ridiculing of their pet oracle.
Specialism in medicine seemed to be misunder-
stood in those times, for State's attorney Longenccker
employed a recently fledged ^^homeo" as an insanity
expert because he had saved his child's life from false
croup, the kind that gets well suddenly when nothing
is done. When the varied assortment of ignorance
of that "doctor" was exposed, Longenecker then ex-
pressed astonishment that one who "cured diph-
theria," as the homeo called it, did not know about
insanity. This pundit defined monomania as one who
was "off on one point" and the maniac "was off on
His predecessor, Grinnell, asked me to testify in a
poisoning case and examine the stomach chemically.
He was surprised when I refused and referred him to
Professor Garrison, the chemist of the Pharmacy
College, as he had that same erroneous conception of
expertism in every part of medicine.
Building upon this want of discrimination of the
lawyers, gradually the courts were frequented by
pseudo-experts, ranging in intelligence from the fairly
well educated general practitioner, one usually who
had married money and who posed as a universal
expert, down to the long haired patent medicine
vender with no knowledge of anything but bambooz-
ling. There was a neurologist in Chicago pretty
well up in that line for he never used simple langu-
182 FtJN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE'
age if he could help it. He was known as "Sesqui-
pedalian Ben.'' Tying an artery was always liga-
tion, and lie Was only surpassed by a reverend medi-
cal poser who once diagnosed a bad cold at the county
liosi)ital to the admiration of freshies, sure to call him'
in consultation till better educated, as "sub-acute
inflammation of the cribriform plate of the ethmoid
The impressive Ben was a chronic witness for'
railways and in a case after I testified strongly as to-
the effects of a very bad head wound, he came to me
and offered me a hundred dollar fee if I would now'
testify for the company on another issue in the same
case. I asked him if there was anything in my career
that would Justify his thinking that I could be con-"
temptible enough to do such a thing, and the lawyer,
an able man, one I had known in the anny long
years before, called me up by telephone to double
the amount first offered if I would comply. We have
not been good friends since. But he said to me, one
great reason why he did not ask ine to testify always
for his company was that he never was certain what
I was going to say ; in other words he did not want'
the truth, but only what would favor his side.
That recalls the Frank Collier case, in which I was
engaged to show the insanity and Judge Gary, later
the head of the Steel Trust, presided. In another'
trial I acted as amicus curiae and conferring with the
same judge he remarked that neither side cared to'
have the truth brought out. An erratic expert in the?'
bEGftADED Expert business 183
coui*se of this trial was rotten-egged by a lunatic in
the court room, and the medical journals spoke of it
as his "ovation." He was like a bull in a china shop,
and as tactful. Collier, the insane lawyer, in a news-
paper article said he had the dress of a Zulu, the man-
ners of a Patagonian and the face of an orang-outang.
That chap was repeatedly helped by me in many ways,
even to securing him appointments to profitable posi-
tions, but his jealousy was such as to induce him to
destroy his best friends for temporary gain, and he
joined politicians in inventing and circulating rank
lies against any one who stood in his way.
In the tri-al of Prendergast, the newsboy, for kill-
ing Mayor Harrison, I told the State's attorney and
Jiir. Trude who prosecuted the case that I knew the
prisoner to be a typical paranoiac and wholly irre-
sponsible, so I was dropped by the State and Clarence
Darrow asked me to come to the side of the defence,
■but I had strict ethical notions of «uch things, and
having received confidential communications of the
other side felt that I had no right now to go into court
at all. Barrow thought otherwise, but a fight I had
just had with the saloon-keeping politicians in trying
to drive thieves out of the State hospital had debilitat-
ed me so much that even had I been inclined, which I
emphatically was not, my health condition at that time
would have disabled me fi^om much court service. The
.gang of grafters seized upon this sickness to circulate
1;he yarn that I was insane. Then appeared my large
1400 page volumes on the Medical Jurisprudence of
Insanity, which nailed that political lie for awhile.
Among other relinquishing of fees occurred an
instance when the head of a pretended philanthropic
society sent to me offering a hundred dollars if I
would swear in court as a neurological expcTt that
it hurt the eyes and minds of children to be carri( d
in front of their parents on bicycles. I returnrd
word that more humanity could be displayed, though
in a less sensational manner, by picking up and car-
ing for the little waifs who were feeding from slop
barrels in alleys.
Several "philanthro-pests" had made millions out
of the fire fund "disbursements," ju^t as Johnsto\vn
magnates, previously poor, developed after money
was sent to them to relieve suffering, and grafters-
got a hook into the San Francisco calamity money.
Sometimes expert service pay was contingent^
and if won in the lower court would be appealed and
years after the lawyer getting the money for both
claimant and experts would pocket all he dared
of both. Lawyers and dead beats owe me about
twenty thousand dollars in Chicago, and always wilL
It is a permanent investment.
I had to look sharp not to be swindled in the first
instance. One notorious case I managed was to have
brought mo a thousand dollars, but I was lucky to re-
cover half that amount from the boozer attorney.
A series of incidents befell in a year or so through
tricks of attorneys. I made $1100 in a spinal con-
cussion: allegation in Frankfort, Indiana, and the-
MgSAded expeet business 1§5
railway attorney was dilatory about the balance after
paying me only $400. Knowing better than to
"sleep on my rights/' as legal verbiage has it. I
dunned the railroad^ which Was in the hands of a
receiver, and annoyed the dilatory lawyer with no
results for months. Finally I recalled something that
would have, if known, disbarred the lawyer, and call
it blackmail who will, it was made use of by a friendly
attorney and the money was promptly forthcoming.
That matter the tricky attorney did not want
known Was this ; and you can judge how much I was
justified in making such use of it :
In the Friedman spinal injury case this lawyer
who had kept me out of $700 fees so long came into
my office and tried to have me express a willingness
to accept $1000 if I could induce Friedman to take
$5000 in settlement of his claim of ten times that
much against the railway he was suing, and in which
suit I was on Friedman's side. I refused, and also
told him that I meant to inform James Rosenthal,
the lawyer for Friedman, though the tempter begged
me not to do so.
Aitev the case was won for Friedman, the main
railway counsel came to me and asked me in confi-
dence if I had received a thousand dollars from the
defence lawyers in the case, stating he was amazed
at my testifying for Friedman, being led to expect
that I had quit the case. I laughed at him
and he told me that he had given the money
to three lawyers to carry to me and they must
18(5 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LiFE
havo divided it among themselves, as proved to he
the case later.
This explained to me what I had long wondered
at as a queer matter. After refusing the bribe in the
first place one of the firm of attorneys to which my
dilatory pay lawyer belonged came to me and tried
to trick me into giving a receipt for the thousand
dollars by the baldest most childish prayers for helj).
That he had gotten into a tangle and wanted to account
for some money that he had used, but having the
image of the widow in my mind's eye, who said so
impudently: '^Yoii know yoii gave me a receipt in
full," I told him that I was sorry he had fallen into
a hole but it was unkind of him to expect to climb
out over my shoulders and to think he could leave me
there instead. He wept bitter teiarg, but I merely
wondered what was lip, until the sequels came, and it
struck me that these rogues were merciless and I
could scare them into being just for once. So I had
iny good friend Rosenthal merely put in an appear-
ance, without either of us making any threats or say-
ing a word about the past, and when the reluctant to
give up lawyer saw the attorney he tried to bribe me
to betray he stepped down to the treasurer of the road
in the same building, returning with the check which
he was "greatly pleased'' to hand to us.
Was that blackmail ?
In a Pennsylvania case the railway claim agent
wanted me to take five hundred dollars to keep out of
'a prosecution of his road for a spinal injury, and re^
Ijegeaded expert business iSt
fusing to do so the injured man recovered ten thous-
and dollars, and not only did not pay my fees but
long afterward served me about as rascally a trick a^
could be imagined.
Thackeray said that George I. had a very low esti-
inate of his fellow men, and Thackeray went on to
say that the most provoking thing about it was that in
the vast majority of instances his majesty was right
in the estimate.
Out west I had occasional similar instances of
gratitude. A couple of yoiing men had me defend
their insane father for murder and were profuse in
gratitude, but the letters of subsequent abuse that
they wrote when I asked for my agreed upon pay did
not correspond with their praises and promises in
their earlier letters.
A Scotchman entreated me to take his injured
t^ife to my sanitarium and help collect a bill for
damages from a railway. He also wrote fulsome
thanks and promises and his later letters, when the
collection was made and no pay came to me, amus-
ingly contrasted in their abuse and threats. He was
a drunkard, however, and much has to be forgiven
these victims of the commerce in poisons.
Things occurred that made me sorry for some
plaintiffs, irrespective of my fee mishaps. One judge
insulted every witness against corporations and in a
case of a poor girl who had fallen from the elevated
railway car through negligence of the road in not
Stopping at a station when she got on and the iroif
iss vvn IX A doctor\s LTFS
gate was not opened, causing her to cling to frail
support till she fell into the street below. The
judge asked her if she fainted, and she said she had
not. "Then,'' said this judge, "you are an honest
girl to tell the truth, but as you knew what you were
about when you let go the case will be taken from the
jury and decided against you." There was intense
indignation of the public and newspapers for this
decision, and an accumulation of such injustice re-
tired him finally from the bench. The girl was
physically helpless from the accident.
That same judge, to get plaintiffs off his calendai*,
called 25,000 cases in one day by bulletin, and the
attorneys, during holiday season too, crowded the
court house by hundreds, yelling at the outrage. He
threatened to jail them for contempt.
Among other annoyances the honest expert en-
counters is the attempt to dictate to him what he
should testify and what he must withhold. Even
a lunatic insists upon managing his own case in spite
of lawyers or experts. But the most appalling out-
come of insuring corporations against legal conse-
quences of all sorts by "Casualty Companies" is the
evolution of special lawyers, with machinery of the
most devilish sort, to further their plans to defeat
all attacks whether just or not. Admitting that
some are wrong in bringing suit, these specialists act
on the assumption that all are wrong, or no matter
they will fight them anyway, right or wrong. The up-
shot is specious pleas, bribed juries, chronic witnesses,
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 189
some of whom tell of being in two train wrecks the-
same instant miles apart. The injured person is
always to blame, even dying victims of wrecks have
a dollar put in their vest pockets and their hand is
held to aid the signature to the release paper. Then
the chronic drilled "expert" who complaisantly
swears black is white, and bamboozles the jury, with
occasionally that most hideous threat to our freedom,
that menace to our civilization, that emissary direct
from the shades of Hades, the corrupt judge.
All complicated by the court fictions in procedure
like the retention of the hypothetical question. The
only excuse for it I ever heard was that if the expert
witness passed on the facts of the case as he heard
them in court he then became a judge, or a juror,
therefore to prevent this real serviceable position,
this real natural helpful means of doing justice, a
roundabout, lying piece of trickery that no sane man
could use in business outside of a court room must be
substituted, all to keep the expert from beik'g
And, the joke of it is, after thinking this over
for many years, and in spite of the superficial jeers
of limbs of the law who defer to usage and never to
common sense or well thought out suggestions, the
JFEY IS PRECISELY WHERE THE EXPERT SHOULD BE.
And this in spite of the present status of the juror
in keeping with general corruption of courts and their
methods, for this plan will clear up the whole situa-
tion, produce honest experts and save the time of
190 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
explaining special intricate details to a pack of ignor-
ant straw pnllers for verdicts. Intelligence will be
substituted for tricks and results be more in accord
with justice and equity.
The blacksmith will no longer pass upon the
watchmaker's mechanism nor the hoss doctor puzzle
over points in human anatomy he never dreamed of
and cannot remember five minutes when explained to
A jury of grocers should pass upon commercial
matters in their line, distiller experts should make up
a jury to pass upon purity of whiskey, but not on
the results of drinking it.
A jury of chemists could determine chemical dis-
putes that no others are competent to understand.
Imagine a school teacher trying to get at the guilt
of some michievous youngsters through being kept
from passing upon the real incidents and confined to
parts of the stories of each side as they pleased to
select and distort !
Also a business man making up his mind if he had
been robbed from a suppression of the real facts and
presentation of hypothetical ones! He would not
know if he were afoot or on horseback.
Then add the browbeating, so the lawyer with the
biggest voice and most impudence is the best one, as
in the case of the attorney thundering to a witness:
"You can't answer my question by saying either yes
or no ! InTow ask me one that cannot be answered in
DEGRADED EXPERT BUSINESS 191
"Very well," said the witness, "are you beating
your wife yet?"
Recalling another smart judge, a martinet on the
Chicago bench well known for his treating witnesses
badly. He once turned savagely upon an Irishman
with: "Were you acquainted with that ash box
in the alley?" He was a stickler for grammatical
sentences, and had to cave in ungracefully at the
court room laugh when Mike replied : "One can't be
acquainted wid an ash-box, yer 'anner, he can wid a
A lawyer sneered at a doctor on the stand with:
"Sometimes the mistakes of doctors are buried six
feet below ground, are they not?"
"Certainly," said the physician, "just as the mis-
takes of lawyers sometimes dangle six feet above
Another, when the lawyer tried a little blarney
for its influence in placating a witness he had been
blufiing: "Now, Pat, you are a kind hearted, fair
minded man, and I am going to ask a question that
will test this opinion of you."
"I am sorry, sor, that I can't return the compli-
And still another who had been savagely abusing
a quiet fellow merely because the witness could not
help himself: "I want you to reply to my questions
in a gentlemanly way, but I can't teach you man-
"That's a fact," responded the abused witness.
During the starting days of the Chicago Art In-
stitute I gave two or three courses of lectures on
anatomy and the sciences useful to the artist, the
pay being ten dollars a lecture; the buildings ab-
sorbing most of the donations, characteristically.
Big colleges and a large campus being more impor-
tant than brains of teachers. Witness Professor
Jiggs, who said the coal oil president was a greater
man than Shakespeare. But I did no toadying, on
the other hand I disparaged the ''old masters" as
mostly old frauds who daubed monsters in no pro-
portion, with false anatomy, and the worship of such
was due to people not thinking for themselves.
I lectured on physics at the college of pharmacy,
and on mental and nervous diseases at medical
schools, always for cash, about ten dollars a lecture,
and never for possible consultations with admiring
students, as that sort of thing begets humbuggery, the
professor being induced to try to impress the pupil
that he never would learn to treat cases and had better
send them to him. So it was a bid on withholding
rather than imparting knowledge. If a lecturer or
writer is insincere it ends in his cheating himself, for
telling lies ends in thinking lies and truth cannot be
recognized when seen.
As lecturer on electro-diagnosis at the Electro
Medical School I gave medical electricity generally a
roast as in the main a fake ; particularly the big static
machines, useful mainly, like Christian science, in
"curing" hysteria. The other professors protested and
finally threw me out. Few of them knew enough to
pound sand, and I always was too impractical to
As a charter fellow and secretary- of the Chicago
Academy of Medicine, a society for discussing scien-
tific study of disease, I gave the opening address in
which I hoped this association would not suffer degen-
eracy through politics and clap-trap as other societies
in the city had, but I heard that it was no exception
to the rule that all things decay in time. Societies,
says Herbert Spencer, finally degenerate and subvert
the very principles for which they were founded.
Several American Medical Society meetings were
attended in different cities before whose meetings I
read papers, and at one in ^N'ashville, Tennessee, I
wondered why the directors, if insisting upon hot sum-
mer meetings, instead of going to the equator had not
selected some such cool sea-breeze convention place like
Atlantic City, E'ew Jersey.
The meeting rooms being too hot, I rode about the
city on trolley cars for the breeze they made and re-
visited the scenes of my old army days ; going to a hill
19-i FUN IN A DOCTOk's LIFE
Tipon Avliieli a fort was built, but now ()ccu])i('d by the
Fisk University, among other places familiar to me
when a soldier. I was not able to recognize my old
camp ground there and called to a gentleman passing
in a buggy, who looked like a good, honest, old, coun-
try doctor, if he would please tell me where old Fort
Gillam had been in 1865.
''Who did you want to see, sah ?" he asked with the
old familiar dialect. I repeated the question, and then
after a moment's thought he said: ''Oh, yes! a duin
At the hotel, which I had used as a barracks for
my recruits, upon my return I was laughing about
this incident and repeated the words and accent,
when a physician from Florida looked at me intently,
as I explained that I must have talked that way my-
self when a boy doAvn South.
"Why, doctah, you all talk like we do !"
This was not as extreme as the poor girl when her
soldier sweetheart went ^orth, and she wrote :
" 'Tis hard for you uns and we uns to part,
For you uns have broken we unses heart."
Doubtless survivals of old English several cen-
At the old University of Chicago, on Cottage
Grove avenue and Twenty-ninth street. Professors
Bastian, Garrison and others invited me to join their
college club, and were arranging with the president
of the university to have me fill the chair of compara-
tive anatomy and physiology, as I was doing work
in tliat line then and gave a lecture on the disadvan-
tages of the upright position which later I repeated
at the Philadelphia Academy of iSTatural Sciences
and published in the American ]^aturalist bj request
of Professor Cope, the editor. These things led to
a controversy in the ^'I^ation/' amusing to scien-
tists as showing prejudice against the evolutionary
doctrine in 1880. Prom mistaken anti-evoluntary
feeling the university president, a Baptist preacher,
dropped the professorship offer, but as teachers
were suing for salaries it was no hardship to lose
Lecturing once at the Anthropological Society
of cranks in Chicago, I described insanity studies as
made by modern physicians in asylums, and the
spiritualists. Christian scientists, theosophists, oxy-
donorists, opposers of vaccination, anarchists, etc.,
among the long haired men and short haired women
had very heterodox notions on all subjects, including
anything medical; so I was subjected to criticism of
the fiercest sort from poor ignorant creatures too
ignorant to realize how ignorant they were. One
tall, gorgeously dressed lady with a nine inch gold
cross hung from her neck by a gaudy chain, a "Theo-
sophist," ranted and raved about spirits, the imma-
terial mind, reincarnation and other mysteries quite
alarmingly. When I closed the discussion I spoke
of having lived in insane asylums, having spent days
on the wards with all classes of deranged, having at-
tended and studied them by thousands with deep
19G ruN IN A doctor's life
interest for their welfare, and preferred to be with
them than elsewhere. ^'Consequently, ladies and gen-
tlemen/' I went on to say, ''being so fond of that kind
of company I never have felt so much at home as I
have this evening."
A number of medical students were present,
among them some young women, one of whom let out
a mdlow laugh and the audience joined in with a
good will, except that part too incensed to do so.
In that same society I lectured on the Migration
of the Aryans, and happened to mt ntion the English
language as having a low Dutch origin.
An indignant Britisher present rose in the discus-
sion and said : "Hi 'ave 'eard the Henglish called hall
sorts of things, but never before 'av hi known them to
be called dirty Dutch."
It required several years to get the explanation
through his wool.
Suggesting other stories of the dialect, as the
fisherman being told to "go hup to the bother hend
of the hisland and he would catch heels has long has
And after being corrected as to pronouncing horse
another cried: "If a hay and a hoe and a bar and a
hess and a hee, don't spell 'orse, what in 'ell does it
Still another wanted to know what all these stores
were in Hamerica with signs spelling with "a hess, a
hay, a hell, a couple of hoes and a hen."
But that was mere association with Cockneys, and
pardonable, while answers of medical students to ex-
aminations are quite as comical.
i had asked the boys to give the names of different
forms of epilepsy and among some of the astonishing
replies one wrote : ^Tettit mell, grand mell, and pell
The dean of the old Chicago Medical College was
called '^Pap Davis" by the students, and in the days
before bacteriology he had a lot of favorite prescrip-
tions for typhoid fever, and there was a legend that
if a student committed those shot guns to memory he
would have a big boost to his diploma, so as he de-
tailed them we took notes and looked them over till
the day for quizzing thereon. The gynaecologist
By ford was operating at Mercy hospital and could
not fill his lecture hour, so to ascertain if I had mem-
^orized all of Pap's prescriptions I climbed into the
^'bull pen" and wrote tliem on the blackboard from
memory, tlie hoys looking on and occasionally cor-
recting from their note books.
I had about ten or twelve down with all their
numerous ingredients and left a couple unwritten as
the bell rang and I had barely time to scramble to
my seat before in walked Pap, and with his back to
the blackboard at which he never even glanced, he
began his questioning and eacli student read off the
'prescriptions from over the old man's head.
To say that he was tickled would not express it,
he congratulated the class upon being the most credi-
'table ever known, and gave all full marks, though
198 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
he must have wondered why they fell do\^^l oti thosf?
last prescriptions not on the board.
One of our most genial and learned Profs, was Dr.
Quine, whom the boys affectionately dnbbed ''Billy."
The news of an addition to the family caused
some medical "poic" to put on his blackboard in his
absence from the lecture room:
Sound the stage horn, ring the cow bell,
That the waiting world may know;
Publish it throughout our borders.
Even unto Mexico.
Seize your pen, oh, dreaming poet!
And in numbers smooth as maybe,
Waft the joyful tidings round us^
Billy Quine has got a baby.
FU^ WITH CHICAGO BOODLEES.
Upon leaving the government land surveying
work, it was with a feeling of thankfulness that in
medicine there could be no contact with politicians,
their saloons, trickery, treachery and vulgar ideals.
But it was frying pan to fire to my amazement, for
to promote my studies in brain physiology of sane and
insane I sought an appointment as one of the medical
officials at the asylum, and as a saloon keeper and
gambler had the appointing power I had to pass
muster with him first. Being western and plain he
condescended to give me the pathologist's place, and
the other gamblers and saloon keepers, the county
commissioners, obediently confirmed the appointment.
and it would have been interesting to know what
kind of an animal they thought a pathologist was.
Here finally was the chance of my life to finish
my studies, fill the scientific periodicals and improve
the conditions of myriads of sufferers.
Gradually I felt cold water on my aspirations.
The whiskeyites in control, I presumed, were merely
party men who carried their low instincts only as
far as cheating at elections. But, little by little, I
realized that no figs were to be found on thistles, and
I talked to the gambler and saloon keeper warden
200 :^XJN IN A DOCf OR^S LiFi;'
one day about classifying patients on wards so tliat
the bad or disturbed cases could be by themselves and
the mild cases away from the violent ones, so as to
increase chances for recovery. This Varnell was a
handsome fellow, and could impress one as well
meaning when he cared to assume decent manners,
and his affability led me to think he fell in with my
views, and so I went on describing how humrane care
could be made scientific, glowing with pleasure that'
although a layman had no business in charge of an
insane asylum as a medical institution he, at least,'
could be depended on to absorb proper ideas concern-
ing such matters, even though it required explaining
to ignorance as experts try to do with juries. It is
a short cut and time saver when a doctor has charge
of a hospital instead of a non-medical person, and it
would be a short cut and time saver if experts were
put on juries instead of explaining recondite thingd-
to the deaf, dumb and blind intellects.
Here is exactly the warden's reply, as he inter-
rupted my enthusiastic descriptions and hopes :
"To hell with the damn cranks. They are cattle
to me, and I don't give a danm for them, and am here^
for boodle. I'm going to make a pile out of the bug-'
house and start a big sporting j^lace in the city."
One means of assisting to make this pile was by
taking bribes from friends of patients for promising-
to put the often violent insane person on a "quief
ward," where he would lessen chances for convalesc-'
ence of others and do himself no good whatever.
FCfi^ WITH CHICAGO BOODLERS 201
Though there were other means of increasing
revenue, as I soon learned and grew enlightened at
the resourcefulness of boodlers in leaving no pocket
The pay for attendants was entrusted to the
warden, and once previous to the insight he had given
me of his animus, I was speaking to him on business
and saw him checking off the pay roll of attendants^
signing the names of absentees in some cases, "at their
request^' as I of coui*se thought, but observing that
lie wrote the signature of one who had been dead some
weeks I thought it too good a joke not to call atten-
tion to his accident, and my laugh was choked off by
his savage glare, which I was too unsophisticated to
understand the reason for at that time.
Schopenhauer extols greenness of that sort in
young men as indicating their unspoiled estimates of
their fellow men, and though I had been through
enough to post me to the contrary I was eternally look-
ing up to the next scoundrel as a paragon of honesty,
to be shocked at disillusions.
We had used conium, a drug needing caution, to
quiet some cases of mania occasionally, but reading
of the recently brought out sulfonal I mentioned it to
the warden and suggested buying ten dollars worth for
the drug store. He coarsely refusedj saying it was
The next week there was bought by the manage-
ment $1500 worth of whiskey, wines and cigars,
charged up as sundry drugs, and if a patient on the^
connty farm got a smell of them T did not know it,
for the banquets in the asylum dinijig room that fol-
lowed this stocking up of the drug store were noisy
enough to attract my attention to the consuming of
all these delicacies, with viands in keeping, by w*ell
known riff-raif and criminals of the city, who voted
their bartender friends and bosses into these places.
^^Quit pouring champagne down my back," was
the shrill giggling command of a female voice from
the dining room on one such occasion, accompanied
with oaths and pet names common in bar rooms. The
warden was having his joke, as she named him.
We doctors were pariahs in that crowd, not hav-
ing any political pull, not even enough to get a buggy
and horse from the asylum stables to use when called
to adjoining institutions; the politicians cavorting
all over the country in county carriages, often break-
ing them on their drunken trips.
It is useless to tell here what the politicians did
and did not do to the insane. You can get an idea
from the almost daily ^'exposures" in newspapers of
such things, remembering also that one such expos-
ure means hundreds of thousands of instances not
exposed. My ^^Treatment" chapter in Medical Juris-
prudence of Insanity details many such affairs, and
I often wonder if anyone has ever read it, for I
never heard that any one had.
Our unwillingness to hear of such things arises,
doubtless, from similar inclinations of the little girl
at the tragedy in a theatre who complained while
PVN WITH CHICAGO BOODLERS 203
Weeping: "Mamma, I don't like that acting, I want
fun that will make me langh, I can find things at
home to cry about wihout coming here !"
But for years I have been studying out the psy-
chology of the reformer being laughed at when he gets
a bump, and think I now have the solution.
I used to lock myself in the dead house or my lab-
oratory to keep away from the beetle-browed saloon
keepers who visited the asylum, prowling around for
boodle, looking in the store room, and wherever else
there were supplies, and one county commissioner,
who kept a drinking dive opposite the Wells street
depot, fixed upon the rags and bones as his perqui-
sites. Sleigh loads of burglars and their women came
to balls at the asylum, the orgies making the patients
furious for want of sleep. Many melancholiacs who
thought they had committed unpardonable sins must
have located their place of punishment about right.
Expensive Turkish and Russian baths were built
*^for the patients," and the scalding discouraged them
from indulging in these luxuries, but it was the regu-
lar thing for politicians to sleep off their drunks in
the bath rooms, being massaged to soberness by the
county "rubbers," those humane additions to the
A couple of years of this sort of thing gave me a
dyspepsia that compelled me to eat i^i the city, away
from the hateful and distressing scenes that could not
The assistant engineer fell sick with typhoid fever
'2()i FUN IN A DOCTOR S LtFii
and his heartless associates abandoned him. I took
care of him in his room beneath mj laboratory and
helped nurse him also, and in six weeks he was around
again, expressing undying gratitude for my help.
A young couple named Brown I had known in
boyhood visited our rooms, and my wife and I talked
freely to them of the abominations. I recollect the
black eyes of the Southern lady snapping with indig-
nation, as she demanded : "Why donH you expose them
I explained that it took time to arrange such
matters and that when fully prepared I intended to do
The newspapers of Chicago promised to support
me in demanding ah investigation: two prominent
preachers with large congregations declined to "talk
politics from the pulpit,'' not having Savonarola's
sense of duty. They said the merchants on whom they
depended for salaries would withdraw their support
otherwise; and eveii then I merely attributed that to
misinformation on the merchants' part, never dream-
ing that they Were the main instigators of boodle by
acting with the commissioners to rob the asylum
The mere stealings at that epoch did not interest
me as bearing upon the brutalities, and I did not
emphasize that phase, so some of the newspapers let
me blow about neglect and abuse of patients, but I
Wondered at their editors blue pencilling any allu-
sion to stealings.
FTJN WITH CHICAGO BOODLEES 205
To think that I was fighting the contents of the
bottomless pit, and did not suspect it.
I plead with the citizens' association, the Chicago
Medical society, the woman's club, to combine in
securing an investigation by the State board of char-
ities, and we jointly petitioned the governor. My
charges submitted to the secretary of the citizens'
association were copied and furnished to King Mike,
the gambler and saloon boss of politics before the
committee heard them; nice, gentlemanly, smiling
grafters, but I only knew it later ; my Chicago Med-
ical Society committee was rotten except for one
sturdy old Dr. Paoli, a Norwegian Corsican, who
stuck to me and helped me fight the rascals, in and
out of our societies. I addressed, by request, the ladies
of the Women's club on the need of reforming things
at the asylum. They gave me a pink tea and appear-
ed languidly interested, and I grew educated on the
situation as I looked over the daughters of bankers,
wives of merchants and relatives of the rich elite of
the city; nice, pretty, amiable, indifferent doll
babies. I might as well have been the crazy preacher
at the State hospital who brought his audience of
sticks with him.
I was about heart sick, and in the election furore
of Blaine and Cleveland I published a request in the
Inter-Ocean that citizens should not vote for the
gamblers and thieves in charge of the asylum.
That night my patient, the assistant engineer, in
a hysteria of loyalty to his masters, shot into my bed
206 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
room intending to kill mo, and as by this time T
concluded my nsefulnc^ss there was over I walked to
Chicago with five dollars cash capital, part of a
month's pay due me, and plenty of energy and cour-
It \vas customary for discharged or resigned em-
ployees to receive full pay to the end of the mf)nth
during which time they left the institution if only a
week or so remained of the month. The commissioners
sent me a filled in blank requesting me to swear that
I had served the full month, trying to trap me into
perjury to discredit my attacks upon them.
It was years after that the State Board of Chari-
ties came to Chicago to ^investigate" the rotten con-
ditions at the asylum. They met at the Grand Pacific
hotel and the thieves had all the machinery of the
county to defend themselves with, compelling me to
leave my office daily and serve my own subpoenas on
witnesses. The president of the board was an in-
solent politician who helped the thieves all he could,
but soon the testimony rolled in so fast and damag-
ingly to merchants, who had not been suspected before,
that the board adjourned in fright, sustaining my
charges of neglect and brutality, a year later, when
some of the commissioners were safely tucked away
in the penitentiary, swearing they would "fix" me
when they served their terms. But they merely
opened new saloons near the court house on return-
ing ; but any old lie they could invent to hurt me they
felt it their duty to spread, and there is always a
YTJN WITH CHICAGO BOODLERS 207
readiness even on the part of your friends to accept
reports against you.
E'ow, it was far from being the brutality by abuse
and starvation of patients that had anything to do
with the downfall of the gang. I merely started
things and Grinnell, the State's attorney, had a special
grand jury indict the commissioners and a few mer-
chants, and under what was called the ^'omnibus
boodler" bill, those who had not gone to Canada were
jailed. Grinnell became a judge and then resigned
to serve a street railway corporation after the sensa-
tional anarchist hanging.
A commissioner, among other attacks upon me in
the newspapers for telling about things at the asylum,
quoted that ''it was a dirty bird that fouled its own
nest," and I agreed with him that when he and other
dirty birds had made the nest too foul to remain m
it would be a dirty bird that remained.
I never knew whether Democrats or Republic-
ans predominated among the commissioners sent to
Joliet, but my friends, the Browns, had an idea
it was the former and blamed me for attacking
their party. They knew that Democrats could not
I was amused while accumulating psychological
memoranda at the falling away of my "friends'' when
they thought I was in distress. I heard often the ac-
cusation that I was foolish to fight the thieves, for
if I had joined with them I might have grown rich.
I used to wonder what hope we had for survival of
208 FUN IN A DOCTOk's LIFE
this republic if such sentiments were as common as
they seemed to be.
An optimist reproved me with '^N'othing is bad if
yon don't think so." And this was before the Mother
Eddy fake of Christian science imbeciles had begun.
I wondered how that optimist's maxim would apply
to judging eggs.
It is related of one who lost his wealth that half
his friends went back on him, and to the remark that
it was noble of the other half that they did not do
so, the reply was that the other half did not know
My frequent jumps in carrying out my studies
from affluence to poverty, from palaces to Indian
lodges, from bank accounts to counting pennies, hard-
ened me to vicissitudes, and whenever I was about to
have a reverse I always knew what to expect and
dropped my "friends" first, as I did not like to have
them harrass themselves that I would ask for help.
In all my bust-ups I would have starved rather than
ask a dollar loan from anyone, but it would have been
useless anyway for there would be no danger of get-
ting it, much less having it offered.
The philosopher is amused at the shrinking away
from, and the up and down sizing up of the shabby
unfortunate. Men like Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson, Poe,
Hawthorne, Hood, all and more, knew what this fair
weather friendship was.
Nine cities claimed the poet Homer dead,
That would not give the living Homer bread.
FUN WITH CHICAGO BOODLERS 209
But a busted person is dead anjway in popular
estimation and should be buried. What consterna-
tion when he resurrects himself by return to fortune.
The county board wanted the people to vote a
million dollars in bonds for a new asylum, and as I
knew it to be a boodle trick I wrote against the matter
in the newspapers. A prominent banker invited me
to his house to dine, apparently sympathizing with
my views, and as he pumped me to know what more
I expected to do in opposing the vote for bonds, I
smelt a rat and found that he was bidding on the
whole lot of bonds.
But here it is, twenty years after all this took
place, and the boss in Chicago is supreme, though less
known, politics just as rotten, boodle has been euph-
emized into "graft," and other big cities are as badly
off. We are as devoted to our "kings" as they are
on the other side of the Atlantic, and the flocking
millions from there will keep the sentiment alive.
Herbert Spencer says that: "While the average
feelings of people continue to be those that are daily
shown it would be no more proper to deprive them of
their king than it would be proper to deprive a child
of its doU."
But if we must surrender our liberties to a
sovereign, why go to the rum shop to find him ?
Your king from that quarter makes pauperism,
crime, insanity and then appoints his bartenders to
see that these victims are comfortably chased to their
graves. It is contended that saloon keepers are as
210 Tim IN A doctok's Ln^^E
fit as anyone for office, which may bo, hut it does
not render the saloon worthy of being the dictator
of who is to fill all public offices.
A Scotch preacher began his sermon: "Brethren,
I shall preach from the text, "the deil goeth aboot
like a roarin' leon, seekin' whom he may devoor;"
firstly I will tell who the deil he is, secondly where
the deil he goeth, and thirdly what the deil he is
a roorin' aboot."
Certainly the devil let loose in America has been
the saloon; he goeth for boodle and he roars against
anyone who opposes him.
After failing to reform State politics in securing
decent care of the insane in 1893, when superinten-
dent of the State Hospital, and coming within one
vote of securing the directorship of the largest hos-
pital for insane in Pennsylvania, I finally slipped
up on founding a great sanitarium for mentally af-
flicted, hoping to be able to do much charity work,
and realizing that the Delaware parties who pro-
posed the sanitarium plan to me were wholly unreli-
able, I visited Dr. John W. Ward, the alienist and
superintendent of the 'New Jersey State Hospital, at
Trenton, to see if I might not become an assistant
to him in his medical work; but I had come at an
unpropitious time, for the poor doctor, with the best
intentions in the world, was harassed by politicians
who took away his appointing power, made a pande-
monium of his hospital, political fashion, filled
offices with the sort of chaps saloon keepers and gam-
FUN WITH CHICAGO BOODLEES 211
biers consort with, brought typhoid fever into the
place and cut off his medical means of fighting it,
finally ousting him altogether.
A great stand pipe, open at the top into which
birds dropped, making good germ cultures, furnished
the drinking water, and the politicians fought Dr.
Ward's efforts to have the stand pipe cleaned out.
There were no screens to many windows and flies
carried offal from the the city dump of night soil half
way from Trenton to the hospital. The warden, who
alone had power to purchase anything, or do anything
at the place, was absent in Saratoga having a good
time at the races.
The same old smells, the same old tricks, the
identical villainous mugs among the attendants that
I had seen a quarter of a century before, were ob-
vious, and turning a corner suddenly I encountered
a tough looking attendant raising his arm to strike
a miserable helpless dement who was not walking
fast enough to suit the politician over him, and I
heard this humane person say : "Get in there, you —
, and hurry up, or I'll smash the
head off of you !"
I said nothing to Ward about it as I knew he had
troubles enough, and it would not have surprised
him anyway. Had he full charge there would have
been no such scene.
But it was the Chicago insane asylum over again
after 25 years.
A favorite poem of Abraham Lincoln began with
^'O, why should the spirit of mortal be proud !"
I have often wondered if army martinets who are
so arrogant and inconsiderate had read that verse,
and if so how they could answer it.
The bulk of officers are easy going and neither too
kind nor too cruel, with occasionally a few remark-
ably good chaps, but each regiment has a couple at
least of the disagreeably proud, merciless martinets,
as the war term goes; and if such were to profit by
the histories of how many such heartless, pompous
fellows wind up they would hide their magnificence
and make things less uncomfortable for the soldiers
It is an open secret that it isn't worth insuring the
lives of that sort of tin god in the first skirmish or
battle they get into. It is a bad thing to have enemies
to fight and command at the same time.
The swash-buckler of old, and many of the officers
in European and still more in Asiatic armies are of
this disposition, and the farther down we go in the
scale of evolution the more pronounced do we find
this species of gorilla and baboon. Wild Africans de-
light in making their subjects cringe and suffer. It
is the only way they can realize their superiority, but
it is wonderful to observe a shoulder strapped non-
entity with megalomania, the insanity of excessive
I had charge of a paranoiac, and a murderous one
he was, at the State asylum, who refused to shake
hands with anyone, as no one was good enough to
deserve such honor. He and God ran the universe,
and his haughtiness was prodigious. It i-s a wonder he
never had a commission.
Captain Giseke commanded my company in the
engineering corps. I was told that he had no friends
in the regiment, hut having been on detached service
when my former regiment was consolidated with the
'corps I had not met the gelitleman before. My rank
was artificer, a step above the private but not as high
as a corporal. While in S'ashville I secured permis-
sion to raise a regimeiit of my own from the military
governor of Tennessee, and had enough men enrolled
-to secure my promotion.
Returning one night to the corps camp T was talk-
ing to the first sergeant Schubert, a splendid, well
educated young man, and had arranged to stay in his
tent that night. In came Giseke with the command,
*^Go to your quarters, sir. You have no business
There was still further bluster and a threat of the
'guard house when I asked permiss^ion to remain in the
large tent of the sergeant, whose extra space was due
to his also being company clerk and a draughting en-
Schubert stood at attention and saluted his
majesty with the information: '^Ilere is the lieuten-
ant's commission, captain, and I was making out his
discharge from our regiment, by reason of promotion,
for the colonel to sign.''
So as a commissioned officer I was on equal terms,
and the change of manner to the deferential and syco-
phantic was enough to disturb one's digestion.
Kipling tells of a ^ 'Johnny-come-lately," as new
officers are called, in charge of a company to protect
some constructing bridge engineers in the Boer war.
This lieutenant was so important in his own estima-
tion that he filled the guard house with soldiers for
trifling matters such as saluting him. carelessly. He
put the engineers under arrest for not stopping work
and standing idly at attention in his presence, and by
interfering at a critical moment the bridge was de-
stroyed and the army corps approaching had no means
of crossing the stream. Kipling tells how General
"Bobs" mildly felt around till he got hold of that
little martinet's soul and then blew his nose on it.
Time and again this megalomania has destroyed
business, prevented important achievements, driven
away capital from investing, and lessened profits. See
the strutting, insolent floor-walker who antagonizes
customers and underlings alike for not worshipping
him on sight. Oriental despots were insulted if any
one intimated the approach of an irresistible enemy,-
cutting off the head of the bearer of bad news. The
head clerk autocrat has wanted to murder a steno-
grapher for daring to correct his bad spelling.
Carl Schurz in a magazine article tells how Chan-
cellorsville battle was lost by General Howard through
refusing to listen to Schurz's report that he had seen
General Lee flanking them, and then blaming the de-
feat upon these who would have saved him if allowed,
^'Schurz and his Dutchmen."
But man, proud mau,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape.
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.
In Maurier's famous '"Trilby," little ''Billee" tries
to talk to a martinet clergyman almost too gi-^nd for
this earth, and I once encountered a specimen of the
kind holding forth at the most fashionable Episcopal
<3hurch in Chicago.
I had brought a letter of introduction to him from
the bishop of iSTebraska, a kind-hearted, able man.
The letter secured me politeness, at least, with a
promise to call on me, voluntarily made, though I was
only a medical student.
The next year, with my little family, I attended
services at the church and my good friend the bishop
happening to be present introduced us to the min-
ister personally, who drew himself up stiffly and
looked over our heads. The bishop must have told
21 G FUN IN" A DOCTOR^S Lt^tl
him that though at one time we were in comfortaMe
circumstances we were now struggling to get on and
asked his assistance if occasion arose, which we would
never have invoked under any stress of weather.
My little daughter Martha settled things by re-
marking proudly to the bishop that "we walked all the
way from 37th street to see you here." As those worthy
of notice in that church always came in carriages, and
though a horse car trip might be overlooked, mention
of coming down to the level of Christ by walking was
unforgivable, so as the bishop told of our having lived
in Dakota, the chesty parson turned away with : "Ah,
some of your Dakota Indians, I suppose !"
In the fashionable congregation was a wealthy
homeo who had the reputation of passing the plate
and the sound for the church.
On the front of the building was the inscription^
over a faucet in a niche : "Ho, all ye that thirst."
But it was a dummy fountain.
I have often laughed at the appropriateness of it.
An excitable chemist friend of mine who had
tried to get into Plymouth church, Brooklyn, during'
the Beecher sensational times, and whose seedy clothes^
barred him, vehemently remarked :
"Why, if Jesus Christ came to Plymouth church-
with his jack-plane under his arm the usher would'
kick him out with the information that Ve don't want'
any damned greasy mechanics in here.' "
As a boy with unformed but fairly aimed princi-
ples, in wild western places like Kansas, Colorado and^
JTcw Mexico, T constantly heard of the fortunes made
in liquor selling, and at that time adulterations had
not gone to their present extremes. It was with much
misgiving, however, that I talked to my aunt about
asking uncle to set me up with a cargo of liquor for
Santa Fe wholesale trade, and she, good, kindly old
lady, advised me to see both my mother's minister and
her own. The Episcopalian did not see so much harm
in the wholesale line, atid thought that as it was £t
regular merchandise there could be no wrong in deal-
ing in it ; the Presbyterian talked much of himself and
his ability as an orator and thought the trade was all
right, that a number of respectable men were in it,
and so on. I told the old gentleman, my uncle, about
what the preachers said, but he didn't like the business
and flatly refused to have me in it, for which I have
been profoundly thalikful ever since, for if there is a
pestiferous occupation on earth it is that same rumi
selling. Youngsters know so little of the world they
have to be taught these things, and the present revul-
sion against the accursed business is the outcome of
fifty years steady^ sometimes apparently hopeless, work
of the prohibitionists and temperance advocates. And
Scientific writers and teachers have co-operated with
the more emotional workers by demonstrating the
truth of temperance doctrines. At the conclusion of
my Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity, in 1889, 1
said with regard to whiskey dealers creating paupers,
insane, criminals, and misery of other kinds, ancf
Securing offices that enabled them to actually chase
218 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LtFii
their victims to their graves, when in charge of puMic
institutions, such as poor houses, hospitals, jails and
asylums: Honest candidates fof public offices cannot
be secured till there is destruction of the power for
evil now defiantly exercised by the gambler and rum-
seller. A chapter in the second volume of that work
dwells on alcoholism as a prolific cause of insanity.
All this seems digressing but it has reference to
the sameness of human nature in preachers, political
bosses, soldiers, and others; the disposition to justify
any wealth-getting means without regard to the suf-
fering to others. We would not have been "Indians
from Dakota" if possessed of means from whiskey
I told two fashionable, very popular pl'eachers of
the '80's with filled pews by thousands, about the
atrocities of politicians at the asylum, but both de-
clined to "talk politics from the pulpit."
Philosophers speak of the degeneracy of institu-
tions in their finally subverting the very principles
upon which they were founded, like the Russian
church reverencing the shadow and destroying the
substance of simple Christianity. Reforms, also,
come from outside and are forced upon societies
who claim to be in advance on those subjects. Yet
as soon as the change for the better is forced Upon
them they loudly lay claim to its origination.
Huxley refers to the coach dog who trots along
under the coach all day on a straight road, but at a
turn, when he finds out in what direction the pro-
Cession is headed, runs ahead barking and pretending
that he leads it.
And the worst of it is there are good, earnest
chaps in evei'y set who would^ even in churches, will-
ingly thunder like Savonarola against the wrong, but
like that hot head they are suppressed till the reform
is inevitable, then they are permitted to speak, and
we hear: "See the good we do." That is if, unlike
Savonarola, they are on earth when the change be-
In Chicago I have seen judicial martinets bull-
dozing plaintiffs against rich corporations, terrify-
ing friendless defendants, fining attorneys for sneez-
ing in court, construing gestures or casual remarks
into contempt of court, emulating the blood thirsty
Lord Jeffreys. Boom-booming with arrogant bass
voice like King Richard on the battle field in the
play. Scarce a witness could appear without being
insulted, nor a juror escape a scolding. Judicial
martinets are frequent, and lawyers assume the role
too often in cross-examinations, taking cowardly ad-
vantage of the helplessness of the witness, as one who
could rob a baby in exercising prowess upon oppor-
Judge Baker was an able and geiiiail jurist but at
times ill-tempered. He blew up the lawyers for trick-
ery, but never unjustly. Upon his re-election his
desk was covered with floral tributes, among which
was an album open at a page on which in letters of
flowers were the words : "Merit, not Temper, was the
test." The old man was too pleased at the offerings
and evidences of esteem to get cocky over the inscrip-
tion, but his eyes kept sidling toward that album all
the morning of that session. An impudent shystei^
was irritating me once in Baker^s court when I was
giving expert testimony and I remarked to the
lawyer: ^^You have no ignorant jury to make grand-
stand plays before. This case is being tried by an
Baker scolded me oiice in this wise :
"Doctor, you can have a non-suit in this case
as plaintiff for $1500 against the father-in-law of
Collier, who engaged you to present reasons why that
lunatic should not be allowed to persecute his family
and dissipate its fortune, but you should have had a
written contract from the one who secured your ser-
vices, then you would not have had to depend upon the
lawyer you worked with to substantiate your claim."
That lawyer botched the testimony that might
Jiave helped me win my case by being promised fees
in his own case if he would go back on me, and the
joke of it was the defendant threw the attorney, alsoj
as soon as he gave his faulty testimony that lost my
fees. Then this duck sent word to my lawyers that
he would now testify for nie strongly, but 1 told him
to go to gehenna.
This suit was eight years in court and finally com-
promised for $Y5, half of which the lawyers got for
looking after the case before three judges; a very rea-
sonable charge, considering.
Martinet doctors have abused plaintiffs in damage
suits they accused of malingering, resorting to cruelty
to extort admissions of fraud, and I knew a surgeon
who received a weekly sum taken from the wages of
workmen in a rolling mill, who when their families
needed his services put them off with abuse and de-
nunciations of their pretended sickness.
In medical co-operation such possibilities are to
be considered, not only the fact thai patients under
such circumstances may demand hardship service of
the doctor engaged, making false claims and running
the physician to death, but occasionally the martinet
doctor may enter into the arrangement and try to get
out of giving any service for the large fees he takes
from the men's wages.
I saw General John C. Fremont when he com-
manded the Department of the Missouri. His fav-
orite promenade was up Choteau Avenue in his open
barouche with arms folded, a la ^N'apoleon, before and
behind rode his lancers, the Cossack, German, Swiss,
French, Italian guards in harlequin costumes. He was
as unapproachable as royalty, and as much stuck on
himself. He abolished slavery in Missouri far ahead
of the times being ripe for it, and there was no telling
what megalomanic trick he would have tried next had
not President Lincoln sent the assistant secretary of
war, Dana, to remove him and have him turn over
his army to General Grant.
To escape Dana and keep his job as long as
possible, till his plans to become emperor of Galifor-
FUN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE
nia or some other ])lace had matured, he took the field
and thought he had barred the President's notice to
vacate, but Dana disguised himself as a farmer with
information about the rebel general Price, and served
the papers at the risk of being hung or shot for it.
Fremont sent soldiers to explore a pass in the
mountains, remaining comfortably at Ft. Bent, in
Colorado, himself. He named a mountain after him-
self, but in Colorado it is called Greenhorn, as officers
and men on the "great Fremont expedition" perished
from blundering the route.
Senator T. H. Benton's pull made this great gen-
eral, who married the daughter of the senator. Prob-
ably like Lord Melbourne they were glad there was no
question of damned merit in such selection.
A California newspaper, retorting upon some
laudation of Fremont as a famous general, politician
and millionaire, remarked that Fremont was a gen-
eral who never won a battle, a politician who was
always in the wrong and a millionaire not worth a
True greatness of intellect is often associated with
tender-heartedness, remarkably so in Abraham Lin-
coln's character, and comrades in arms are often like
affectionate families. I can recall remarkable in-
stances of self sacrifice during the war. One soldier
at Andersonville prison pen kept large numbers of
his fellow captives cheered up and well by looking
after them intelligently. At one time the water
failed and he unraveled a stocking to get string
enough to let a can down to the water in the well and
kept hundreds from dying of thirst.
As General Sherman remarked, ^Var is hell/' but
much of its fierceness can be lessened by considera-
tion for others, friends and enemies.
Col. Chester Harding, of one of my regiments, had
overlooked the absence of recruits from squad drill
several times but was compelled to issue orders for
better attendance. The worst of it was it took place
before reveille and we went breakfastless till the drill
sergeant let us go.
Being company clerk, I several times worked
till morning at the rolls and records and should have
been excused, but was too sleepy to even hear the
morning drum beats and trumpets on such occasions.
A dozen of us were lined up for the colonel's
reprimand. ^^Boys," said he, ^'I have let you off too
often and now will have to make an example of you
by putting you in the guard house for the day." He
saw me in the ranks, and being fond of me he let all
of us off "this time," with a warning.
General George H. Thomas was a good man in
many respects; modest, considerate and very able as
a commander. The army called him "Pap Thomas."
A martinet physician was once president of the
Chicago Medical Society. He could not be digni-
fied without being offensive. He never served a
subsequent term as president of the society.
There was one in charge of the Elgin insane
asylum, a homeo who was merely a politician devoid
of any medical knowledge. I was sent by relatives of
a patient to diagnose a case in his care which he had
pronounced as paresis, and therefore incurable. To
my surprise there was not a single symptom of par-
etic dementia about the case but, to any alienist,
evidences of luetic insanity, and I immediately ad-
vised appropriate treatment, but the pride of the igno-
ramus was aroused and he would have let the man die
rather than see him recover under treatment he had
pronounced as improper. He didn't believe in "med-
icines of the old school." With difficulty we secured
an order from the county judge for his removal to a
private institution, where under vigorous doses of
potassium iodide the patient promptly recovered his
mind and went back to his business in Chicago.
As a little side commentary on remarkable prej-
udices among those who had not acquired the merci-
fulness of the doctor business, the judge who granted
the transfer remarked that he was inclined to let
nature take its course in this instance rather than in-
terpose with treatment that would remove the penalty
for transgression. With the disposition that a doctor
acquires not to judge of responsibility of the wilder-
ness full of apes, that sort of dictum jars; but the
judge was otherwise a humane fellow and is now on
the supreme bench.
The lower down we go the more strutty becomes
the martinet. The court bailiif is frequently the most
pompous, like the church beadle in England. And,
as too often was the case, when the bailiff had
been a bartender, his '^bouncing" habits were hard
Sometimes politeness and cruelty of the kind are
joined. Captain Howgate, the defaulter, while in
charge of the signal service students at Washington,
D. C, used to forgive sergeants for overstaying their
passes from Fort Whipple and at the same instant
telegraph orders to put the absentee in the guard
house as soon as he returned. He delighted in mak-
ing others miserable and in enjoying his stolen wealth,
while having much to crave mercy for himself. He
suffered enough, finally.
Sometimes jealousy may lead a community to be
disagreeable to excellence, as when Dr. ISTicholas Senn
was beginning his famous career as an antiseptic
surgeon in Milwaukee, where the physicians for the
most part snubbed him and interfered with his work
in a shameful manner, trying to prejudice people
against his methods which finally triumphed and
brought these same persecutors to study at his clinics.
So Ambrose Pare, the great surgeon of the time
of Henri II. and Francois II., was bounded by con-
freres who should have been proud of him, but class
prejudice makes martinets.
I was in the armies commanded by Fremont,
Grant, Thomas, McPherson, Howard in the south,
and got my promotion as my engineer corps was join-
ing Sherman on his famous march to the sea. Colonel
Flad had barely time to sign my discharge at a rail-
road switchman's little station, grasp my hand and
congratnlato me, jump on his train and leave with the
regiment for Atlanta. Only 300 of that corps, from
1800 originally enrolled, returned from that march.
In the encampment of the grand army in Chicago in
1900 only one of the corps was present besides myself.
General Grant was easily approached and unas-
suming. I saw him while he was president at a
theatre in Washington, King Kalikeaua, of Hawaii,
came to a box opposite that of Grant's and the general
went behind the seats of his family oat of sight.
"Calico" was dark skinned, tall and very dissi-
pated. When passing through Chicago the mayor met
him at the Palmer House and slapped him on the
back with the greeting: "hurry up, Mr. King, lets
wash our hands and go in to dinner?"
Having run off into a mention of notables aside
from martinets, I may as well conclude my list of
Andrew Johnson, when military governor of Ten-
nessee, gave me my commission as first lieutenant.
Johnson was inclined to drink too much at times, but
I was puzzled at much that he did, though I always
liked him, and when long after the war I read a book
called "The Clansman" much was explained and it
satisfied me that Johnson really tried to carry out
Lincoln's ideas, but was prevented by demagogues
and fanatics like Stevenson, who forced the franchise
upon a race incapable of properly using it. I think
now that Lincoln hoped to send all f reedmen to Liber-
ia and other parts of Africa. This would have for-
ever settled a problem that will be worse as decades go
Mj brigade was encamped on hills overlooking
Knoxville, on our way to join the army of the Poto-
mac, but the surrender of Lee at Appomatox and
escape of Johnson with Jeff. Davis diverted us toward
^orth Carolina to head off that detachment of the
rebel army. The news of Lincoln's assassination was
brought to our camp at Knoxville, and the soldiers
were stunned, for we could see no possible sense in
such a murder. Absolutely nothing was to be gained
by it and we finally realized that it was the act of a
lunatic instigated by demons of fanatics too cowardly
to perform it themselves. Lincoln would have made
things far easier for the south than they were made
later; there would have been no freedman trouble,
no ku Mux clan, no carpet baggers,for the great intel-
lect that had been allowed merely a glimpse of the
"promised land" was to be succeeded by inferior and
more selfish control.
James K. Polk was buried in the front garden of
his house in E'ashville, Tennessee, near the state capi-
tol building. His tomb resembled an old fashioned
four-post bedstead with tester, or canopy. Several
times I observed his widow placing flowers on the
tomb during the Civil War.
General Sheridan and his staff officers came down
the Missouri river from Montana on the same steamer
I was on in 1870. There was much card playing and
liquid jollification in the after-cabin. Sheridan was
a simple, easy going, straight forward general. In
fact, the best of the army were plain, unaffected,
honest men, and greatly respected for being so, where
martinets were hated.
Henry Clay called on my mother concerning the
bust my father had made at Clay's request, and my
little sister, aged seven, shook hands with him, taking
him for a giant stepped out of a fairy tale, as he
bent over to greet the little one.
At Yankton, Dakota Territory, General Custer
was camped with his seventh cavalry just before the
massacre on the Little Big Horn. A great snow
storm tore down the tents and scattered the cavalry-
men and horses among the towns people. My mother
invited him and his wife to come to our home for
food and shelter, but he thanked us and remained
near the destroyed camp. He wore long hair and
was fearfully reckless in attacking an enemy.
When I was a boy I saw Millard Fillmore ad-
dressing people from the steps of Municipality Hall,
in ITew Orleans, and picked up a pamphlet abusing
Franklin Pierce, and heard Jenny Lind sing at the
cathedral, seats selling for $1,000 a pew in some
Ubi sunt que ante nos,
In mundo fuere?
Vadite ad inferos,
Transite ad superos;
Ubi jam fuere, fuere.
Slip, slide go the years, and you think that fellow
walking on the other side of the street, whom you
see from your window, ought to come up to see you,
and suddenly you remember that the chap you mis-
took him for has been food for worms, lo, these many
There is something annoying and depressing about
such things, but a scientific man is readier recon-
ciled to the courses of events, or should be, than
others. It is more serious to be bom than to die;
and a nature student wonders what is beyond, gets
kind of curious to know, and is more likely than
others to smile at approaching dissolution as "all in
the day's work" and no more to be dreaded than
going to sleep,
Stephen A. Douglas left property on 34th street
and Cottage Grove avenue, in Chicago, to found a
university to be named after him. It was dubbed
Chicago University, and the saints in charge thought
they could please heaven by misappropriating part
2oO FUN IN A DOCTOR'S Liri^
of the ground for a theological seminary. Eott tli^^
^^miversity" and^^seminary" perished from bad man-
agement and bad faith with the Douglas heirs, and
even the corner stone, laid with great ceremony, could
not be found as the old building was torn down to be
replaced by residence lots. The coal oil university
having succeeded to the designation. The great,
mushroomy collection of buildings, copied after Ox-
ford, England, appropriately going back in the dirri
centuries for architecture suitable for aristocratic
conservative brain gripping for rich folk's youngsters,
to supplement the dope cigarette destruction of their
alleged thinking apparatus.
Instead of affairs for rich dawdlers, Carnegie took
a forward step in affording poor boys fellowship and
free tuition in Scotland in the higher branches. Cor-^
nell's idea of making available any study to anyone
is best and would be better if everyone were enabled
to have it free of cost.
But the technology schools are going to knock the
existence out of the puppy making "universities;"
the latter are dying of slow, dry rot, and "diplomas"'
from them no longer recommend io any thing or
place or body.
Tempora mutantur, sure enough. One of these-
days, when Macauiey's ISTew Zealander stands on Lon-
don bridge looking at the ruins of Westminster, he
will tell his little boy how thousands of years aga
Ptolemy Rockegie and Cheops Carnefeller forced toil-
ing millions of subjects to drag stones at their own;
OLD CHICAGO .231
expense to build great pyramids to perpetuate their
names and souls; how Kidd-Morgan cleaned out the
United States Treasury and bought up all the paint-
ings in Europe to secure similar notice, and Pullham
piled tons of railroad iron above and beneath him to
preserve his body after the Egyptian plan of getting
away with a soul.
There was also a "Temple of Fame" in J^ew York,
as authority on greatness, but it was calcined by time,
and the record slabs of marble converted into soda
water, effervescing the famous in carbonic acid.
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more; it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
A granite monolith a hundred feet high is in a
cemetery of Chicago over "Long John Wentworth;''
he was better known than Ponce de Leon in his day,
but as Holmes asks : "Why seek to perpetuate names
in a planet whose crust is fossils and whose center is
"Kind words are more than coronets," sang Ten-
nyson, and then wrote toady, kind words for prince-
lings, unlike joking Tom Hood, who wrote about and
for the suffering poor.
But we were supposed to be talking of old Chicago.
Age is relative like other things, and when I first saw
Chicago its few bridges were turned by hand, its
streets were unpaved, sidewalks in pits and on stilts
along Madison street, tiring you with walking ttp and
down stairs ; the population was 84,000 in Chicago in
1856, the jear of my visit on the way to Madison,
Wisconsin lakes, for my schoolboy vacation, and the
census of St. Louis for the same year gave 125,000.-
Commercial travelers dispersed from St. Louis, the
greatest western city of the time; Chicago, lacking
commercial importance, had no "drummers." One o£
these important travelers sitting in the same Parmlee
bus with me remarked that "this dirty little mud hole
Chicago aspired to rival St. Louis. Why, if anything
would kill the place it is this bridging business V^
referring to our being unable to cross the river while
the bridge-tender walked around his treadmill to swing
the bridge, nearly missing the train for us by delay.
We transferred from the old Randolph street and
Michigan avenue Illinois Central depot to the Well&
street depot located as today, except that the former
has gone farther up town. And the same old Parma-
lee omnibuses that Father Marquette and Chevalier
de la Salle rode in to welcome Lafayette and Noah
still ply bcween depots in Chicago.
But that commercial traveler should have taken^
the old darkey's advice : "Don't ye never profesy, on-
less ye know !"
In 1880 I was crossing that bridge, or rather its^
successor, one dark night, returning from a medical
visit on the north side, and in the gas light saw a
couple of men ahead some distance, and at the bridge
they both appeared drunk; speculating upon this sud-
OLD CHICAGO 233
cten intoxication, the smell of the river was bad
enough then but not from the sort of poison that makes
inebriates, it struck me that drunk as they seemed they
were waiting for me. I had nothing more formidable
than a flat tongue spatula handle which, taking by its
wires, I flourished so the light would gleam on its
silvered resemblance to a pistol. The trick worked,
for suddenly my drunkards braced up and walked on
to streets not so lonely.
I took an Archer road street car to 22d street,
where I left it to walk to 37th, as no cars ran my way
at three o'clock in the morning, and as I passed 50
cents to the conductor through the door-hole from the
front platform, I thought I would look at my change
near a gas lamp. It counted up four three cent pieces
and a penny, instead of four dimes and a nickel. Coins
like the twenty cent pieces and three cent silver ones
gave chances for mistakes, to call it mildly.
The town limits at this later period ranged from
Chicago avenue to 39th street, and west to Halsted
street, now probably the longest street in any city.
There was a jolly Shanghai rooster of a doctor, a
tall Yankee named Payne, on the south side, and his
jocularities made him very entertaining ; he enjoyed
a joke even on himself, which is unusual wth jokers.
He told me of a loyal old nurse of mine, before the
training days, who liked to boast of what Dr. Cleven-
ger could do, nor was she particular in her enthusiasm
to stick to facts always.
He had her help in a case and expressed pleasure
that the patient's temperature had fallen from 104
degrees to 99. She availed hers(>lf of the chance to
tell him that I had brought down the thermometer
in a case she cared for from 200 to 50 degress. Payne
said to me : "I hope you were satisfied." It was one
instance of ^^deliver us from our friends."
But it is the surgeon who has brags made of his
prowess, such as taking out eyes and brains and re-
placing them. The silver plate for brain injury also
dies hard. Apropos of brain surgery, it is told of a
colonel in the Civil War having his skull erdptied foi*
a head wound, and an orderly dashed up with a com-
mission for bravery promoting the colonel, who got
off the operating table, jumped on his horse and rode
away, the doctor yelling after him to come back and
get his brains. ''I don't need them now, I am a brig-
adier general," he answered as he disappeared.
The story being suggested by so many politicians
with no war experience getting generals' places
through pull in Washington.
Dr. Payne was called from bed one bitterly cold
night to wade through snow a couple of miles up what
is now Drexel avenue, then a howling wilderness, to
visit a patient in extremis, surrounded by weeping
friends and to whom Father Tighe had given extreme
Payne took a look at her as she writhed on her
bed and grew angry all over, but repressing his wrath
he said please wrap her up and take her to the kitchen
t-able. Wonderingly they obeyed and Payne reached for
OLD CHICAGO 233
a tin dipper with whicli he cracked the surface ice ill
a bucket and doused the lady's head with the water.
She squirmed and went on wriggling and exclaiming,-
and the people tried to protest, Saying you would not
treat a dying woman So. ^*I know what I am about,
and everyone of you leave the room but her mother
and Father Tighe;'' he repeated the dipper treat-
ment several times till she sat up and cursed the
doctor long, loud and deep^ with all the maledictions
she was familiar with and some she did not know*
how to handle. Payne's good humur was restored,
as he said: "Why, you are better ain't you," and
Father Tighe admiringly rubbed his hands, exclaim-
ing: ^^It's a miracle; it's a miracle!"
Payne and I each had a case of hysteria in a male^
He gave his boy a hypodermic of apomorphia and
the convulsions gave way to complaints of: ''I am so
sick at my stomach." Payne sympathized with him
that "it was too bad," but the fits ceased. My patient
was brought to the Reese Hospital, having for months
fallen in fits several times a day, always on the bed^
and was given whiskey and attended by relays of
female nurses ; the family he belonged to being rich,
several ^'ethical doctors" made big fees for pander-
ing to the foolishness. I examined the case care-
fully to avoid any mistake, then ordered the nurses
to be discharged and no further attention to be paid
to him and to let him have his "fits" by himself and
to give him no more liquor. Loud were the protests of
the igTLorant relations, but he was out walking in the
230 FUN IN A DOCTOR^S LIFE
hospital yard in two days and discharged recovered In
a week. The family paid my little $10 fee under
protest, though robbed of many hundreds by ^'sympa-
thetic'^ skunks that infest medical practice, and they
always spoke of me as "ihsit brute.'' The boy did not
relapse, and the quackery previously used if contin-
ed would have destroyed him.
But that kind of ingratitude is commoli enough.
A Boston physician who was disgusted with hysteri-
cal cases was called to see a spinster with paralysis
on one side, bedridden for years. All the hocus
pocus of Christian science, leg-pulliiig osteopathy, tin
can oxydonor and billionth of a grain of homeo wind
had failed to make that side move. The old student,
honest doctor looked the patient over to make sure;
then looking around the room he gathered up all the
newspapers to be found, pushed them under the bed,
and set fire to them.
The old virgin was down stairs t)efore he was.
She was perfectly cured for the rest of her days, but
she never forgave the doctor and always spoke of him
as ''that old brute.'' She paid him a thumping good
fee though, which he gave to poor people, and he had
many in his care.
About as instructive an instance of mental impres-
sion I ever came across was when a lady of 30 years
who had been chronically asthmatic had her lung
difficulty disappear and a half sided paralysis take
its place. At that time Charcot and other French-
men had experimented with "metallo-therapy" in
OLD CHICAGO 237
hysterical cases, so I told the lady of the new French
method, and as it was harmless she consented to a
trial. I placed a silver dime on one arm and a copper
coin on the other arm and awaited results, feeling
silly though at the apparent absurdity of the ^'treat-
ment. " But we have never been able to find out wnat
is or is not "treatment" for a hysterical patient. In
a few minutes she said it was working for she felt
the circulation coming back on that entire side, and
soon she moved her hand and foot and had free mo-
tion restored to the paralyzed parts.
As gravely as I could I took it as a matter of
course, and was replacing the coins in my pocket
when she startled me with: "But, oh doctor, the
trouble has gone over to the other side." E'ow this
was before the French medical journals discussed
"transference," as this phenomenon was called; but
I was disgusted and ventured the prediction that it
was all right; that sometimes that sort of thing oc-
curred, but it only lasted a little while, and that it
would pass away. And it did, to my relief and sur-
prise, for I was by no means sure of my prophecy.
Since then I with other doctors have been performing
"miracles" on these impressionable people, who make
reputations for all sorts of fakers by their sudden re-
A lady with hysterical aphonia 1 had brought to
my office by the sister superior of the hospital I at-
tended, and placing a Faradic current to her larynx
she spoke suddenly in her natural voice and remained
238 rux Tx a doctor's life
recovered from her 'Mumbness." She and the good
sister went direct to the church to give thanks.
At the Keese hospital I had a case of that rare
form of hysteria called ^^tetany/' which young medi-
cal students think is some sort of tetanus. A four-
teen year old girl was spasmodically bent by fits to
one side ; the spasm usually bending the body forward
and downward. The internes had never heard of
such a trouble. In her presence I solemnly told the
resident doctors to heat the cautery iron white hot
and trace it along her back, avoiding the red heat
as painful. Of course all but the patient knew this
instruction was merely for its influence. x\nd it
was effective for Missy never twisted herself into
These hysterical cases are troublesome aifairs,
sometimes being stuck full of needles with their heads
outward, sometimes raising the dickens with anony-
mous letters, sometimes crazy as bedbugs, sometimes
using up a household with fictitious ailments, and if
any inexperienced doctor takes stock in her "sick-
ness" and does not look out for himself she is liable
to tie the doctor up into hard knots, wear him out with
all his resources and on some occasions "bust him."
Wise physicians are wary of such.
At the Chicago Medical Society meeting once a
"sassiety" doctor was telling of a wonderful cure
lie had made that he could not account for, in a lady
who had suffered many things of many doctors, till
he came and mysteriously cured her of a lifetime
OLD CHICAGO 239
malady, and the old ass maundered off into a descrip-
tion of her symptoms.
Dr. Margerat, a Frenchman of much experience
in medicine, in discussing the case said the whole
thing was accounted for by a good looking doctor;
that if he had been caring for the case himself he
could not have had the same miraculous results as
he was not good looking enough.
Woe to the young doctor who dows not post him-
self on the myriad phases of hysteria, for he is likely
to bite off more than he can chew in treating some
of these notoriety seekers. Read what I tell of them
in my Medical Jurisprudence of Insanity.
Axford, Payne and Xorcom were the noted south
side physicians whom I most frequently met, and
many a hearty laugh have we four enjoyed at each
other's experiences. Almost daily something comic
would occur to take the gloom off an otherwise
Payne had been called by a female homeo prac-
titioner to attend her husband, whom she and another
woman "graduate" of her "school" had been trying
to relieve, and when Payne came in the wife handed
the doctor a catherer that she and her friend had
failed to pass after hours of trying. It was the
three inch female sort. Payne remarked that he
preferred his own and drew out a soft rubber one and
in an instant the too much homypattyized sufferer
was relieved. The old girls examined the "new"
affair with interest, never having heard of one before.
240 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
But they knew how to pronounce it at least, and
that was more than a young lady did who wrote to
a physician to come to her sick brother and to please
bring his cathedral with him.
A London lady presiding over a club read about
the death of a popular army major in India from
kidney disease, and concluded the news with the re-
mark that "we women should be grateful that we have
Payne used to tell of curb stone opinions he
escaped by listening to rambling descriptions of dis-
ease and sympathising with them by: '^Its too bad."
Reminding of the story of another physician when
asked what the man should take, during a casual meet-
ing on the street, replying: "He should take advice,
Axford told of his uncle, a Michigan physician,
who was also mayor of the tovm he lived in, accusing
a hotel keeper of contracting dyspepsia by eating some
of his own pies, bringing to mind the old yarn of
the country oracle taking his medical apprentice on
his rounds and jumping on a sick man for not obey-
ing injunctions not to eat apples; the medical kid
wanted to know how the doctor could tell that he had
been eating apples. "By the cores he threw under the
bed," said the doctor.
When later the tyro had graduated he scolded a
patient for eating a mule, and the protest brought
out the information that the new doctor had seen a
harness under the bed. Maybe some have not heard
OLD CHICAGO 241
that chestnut, but it is worth citing as a possible log-
ical process for some sort of thinkers.
Parity of reasoning, as when a delirious small
pox case jumped into the Arkansas river and got well
the doctor used cool bathing on other small-pox cases
and they did not recover. To the memorandum he
made when the first case got well, to the effect that
"Cold baths good for small-pox,'' he appended later,
"sometimes." But an experimentally inclined igno-
ramus of an attendant at the asylum drew even finer
distinctions in his notes. He threw water on epilep-
tics in fits, and ascribed their getting over the attack
to his wonderful discovery, but once a patient died
instead of recovering, so Dunderhead found out his
nationality and added to his valuable "notes" that this
treatment is good for Irish, Germans and Americans
but bad for Bohemians.
But speaking of Bohemians, Dr. Fenger, the well
known surgeon, told of a recently arrived Bohemian
practitioner telling him of trouble he had with pre-
mature twins in a countrywoman of his. They were
a little over the seventh month, and finally this be-
nighted wonder told Fenger that he had the hardest
time to hold them under the bucket of water, that they
kicked and for a long time would not drown. "My
God," said Fenger, "have you told anyone else about
Rambling off on obstetrics, a grocer in Chicago
242 ruN IN A doctor's life
thought I shonhl cut my bill in half as the double
hair lip child "wasn't worth it" to him.
I attended another grocer whom I thought was
intelligent, and maybe he was on prices of prunes
and codfish, but he had a brass ring around his ankle
and gravely informed me it was to "keep off the
I had attended a case for ^orcom while he was out
gunning for birds, a sport in which he found recrea-
tion ; she was a grocer's wife and in her last sickness.
Six months later, as the grocer paid no attention to
my bill, I sent a collector, both were Irish which ac-
counts for the conversation : "I hope the doctor will
wait till my wife is cowld in her grave before pressin'
"The docther returns the compliment, and hopes
you won't marry again before payin' it."
^N'orcom returned from one of his bird hunts, tell-
ing his wife, "Well, my dear, I didn't kill anything."
"That's what you get for going off and neglecting
your business !"
Recalling the contract that a doctor was to be
paid "kill or cure" and the refusal on account of the
doctor not being able or willing to say he had done
either after the patient had died.
While about it, we may as well recall a few more
yarns whether well or little known, though some have
heard everything and others never heard anything of
Quine met Russ, the undertaker, one morning on
OLD CHICAGO 243
22d street, and to the doctor's question: "How's bus-
iness ?" Russ replied '^Quite good, thank you."
"You need not thank me, confound you !" said the
A pretty fair doctor's yarn was told of Billy
Mason, the Illinois senator, who going to England
was seasick, and while leaning over the rail feeding
the fishes was approached by a commiserating Eng-
lishman with: "Very sorry to see you suffering so
much, Mr. Mason, and walking to and fro on the deck
the Englishman stopped with the remark : "It is sin-
gular, Mr. Mason, that Englishmen never get sea
Billy glared at him and remarked: "Doctors say
it's a brain disease.' By and by the sympathiser re-
turned laughing with: "That was a very good joke
of yours. I see the point."
But Billy immediately rejoined : "Somebody told
My son, on an Australian voyage, says the Ham-
ericans were amused at the dialect of a lady from our
mother country on the vessel, who when pressed
to partake of cakes and grapes, said with thanks : "I
will tike a pice o' kike now, and bymby have the
Like Tom Hood, who offered to swallow the blot-
ting paper when told he had drank ink instead of his
medicine, some patients can joke while dying. I
had an instance in old Colonel Yaugn, who always
had a fresh tale to tell me when I called. He once
looked lip at a strange doctor who had been put in
charge of him temporarily during the absence of his
regular attending physician, asking: "What did I
understand your name to be ?" and laughing when
told that the name was ""Wise ;'' he was asked what was
there amusing about it, and apologised with: "You
remind me of a chap I knew in Virginia named Small,
and he was the tallest man in town."
He told of a doctor falling into a well accidently,
and w^as told that his business was with the sick and
he should have let the well alone.
As comic a scene as a doctor could see was one I
saw in Wilmington, Delaware, at the trial of a notor-
ious, impudent quack named Lawson for practising
without a license. He claimed to use hypnotism, and
when the State's attorney was pressing him for illus-
trations of that sort of treatment he looked around at
the judge and loudly, pompously, with the effrontery
characteristic of charlatans said : "Your honor, if you
will permit me I will proceed to convince you and the
jury of the genuineness of my hypnotic influence, by
means of which I control disease."
Looking straight at the judge as though he meant,
if allowed, to try the fake upon his honor at once, the
judge dodged and brought down his gavel with a bang,
exclaiming : "Here ! none of that now !"
"But, your honor, it is harmless."
"That may all be, but we want no such monkey
work in this court room. You can describe what you
can do, but we are not to be experimented on."
OLD CHICAGO 245
Wonderful is the hold these ignorant scoundrels
have upon the credulous; here was Schwab the steel
trust king paying $5000 for a pair of ^'magic boots''
to cure all diseases, and a Kew York scamp making
thousands by selling a wooden hypnotic ball for ten
dollars each, and the regular medical societies were
defeated in trying to stop his sales and the post office
heads refused to discontinue his mailing advertise-
The backwoods faker is usually the sort that cut
slippery elm upward on the tree bark for emetics,
downward for cathartics, and around the tree for other
purposes, naming the first lowbohirum, the other high-
bolowrum, and the last was highlobustum, a "rank
pizen" no one dared use but himself. But in Pennsyl-
vania there are witch doctors using "pow-wow" and
blowing on burns to "take the fire out." If sus-
penders are crossed in the back it either causes
"hexing" or witchery, or cures it, I have forgotten
which is claimed.
Regular doctors there sometimes tell their ignor-
ant patients that they use "pow-wow" as well as
other means, or the medicines would not be paid for.
The darkey fortune teller and hoodoo doctor is as
interesting. One had a customer return with the de-
mand : " Jiss gib dat dollah back, youh fohtune tellin'
is no good. You tole me dat my dream would come
true, and not one of dem has."
"See heah, nigger, does you remember all youh
''111 course^ I don't.''
''Well, its dem dreams dat jou don't remember fg
do ones dat come true."
But anyone assuming the externals of what the
populace thinks makes up the doctor is called in, as
was the gentleman with the little satchel beckoned
from the street by the lady anxious to know what had
best be done, and was astonished when advised to call a
doctor, as he was only a piano tuner.
A Georgia solon being fooled in the apparel of a
doctor once, finding that in spite of poverty in dress
the man knew more than a well dressed pretender, en-
deavored to get a bill through the legislature provid-
ing means of telling whether doctors were competent
or not by their dress. It arranged that first class doc-
tors should be richly dressed and that lower grades
should be uniformed accordingly.
The result would be that cocked hats, gold lace and
epaulets would accrue to the most murderous quacks
while the modest hard up student of a physcian would
be in sack cloth.
Balzac tells of a charlatan examining the right side
of a patient in pretending to listen to his heart, and an
educated physician standing by remarked: "When I
went to school the heart was supposed to be on the left
side," to which the quack responded with the immort-
ally cheeky answer: "But, Monsieur le docteur, we
have changed all that." "Nous avons change' tout
Homeos make it a point to dress well, and most
OLD CHICAGO 247
people would rather be slain by "respectable" ignor-
ance than cured by shabby knowledge.
The money making faculty is a low one, and too
many scruples or much intelligence and devotion to
study may impoverish one. An imbecile in Ward's
island asylum, who did not know enough to keep his
nose clean, could start with a pin and by trading with
sane attendants have a knife or a dollar by night.
Then doctors who have not married money or de-
pend on practice to make it are discriminated against
in collecting fees. For instance, in j)robate courts a
judge will prune dovni the just bill of a doctor and
<?ompliment a lawyer on his "handsome" winnings
for mere clerical work of an inferior grade. The law-
yers make and administer class legislation in their
•own favor, and till medicine is properly represented
doctors can expect to be thus snubbed. Besides every
medical practice act, ostensibly to protect the people,
by the time it passes any State legislature is emascu-
lated by lawyer counsel for saloon keeping boodlers
who are paid by organized quackery, so that the decent
educated medical man is put to great inconvenience to
•convince a State Board of his competence, and the law
enables the dirtiest quack unhung to "practice" free
from any questioning, unhedged by any supervision,
and to put "Doctor" on his cards and gather riches
the community of good practitioners can never hope to
Diving into the causes of any sociological matter
deep enough brings you to the inevitable monkey-
248 rUN IN A DOCTOR^S LII^E
doodledom of mankind; his vanities, his prejudices,
superstitions, grab-it-ivencss, and his thorough ground-
ing in what is not true.
Deceiving one's neighbors, allowing them to
deceive themselves so long as anything is to be made
by it, has been the rule, and when this condition of
things is reversed, and when the saloon can no longer
poison us and people smilingly accept it as established
right on their part, the world will begin to evolve a
little from fogs of misinformation. Meanwhile it
is the decent doctor's duty and privilege to instruct,
to lift, to help poor and rich alike, interest them in
one another. All good work is done at personal sac-
rifice, and above all expect no gratitude. There is
no such thing, it is a symptom, says Holmes, that dis-
appears with other symptoms on recovery from sick«
God and tlie doctor we alike adore,
Just on the brink of danger, not before;
The danger past both are alike requited:
God is forgot, and the doctor slighted.
You are lucky if you don't get kicked for kind-"
ness, but you did not have to be killed for it as was
One whom folks pretend to worship today and merely
Physicians in ^N'ew York and London know what
Trinity church and Westminster Abbey property
meant to the wretched starvelings those rich corpor-
ations fleeced, and as for Whitechapel, well
The five points, at one time the vilest part of i^eW
5ti5 CHICAGO 24S
York, was Trinity chiircli property and the ministers
said : "We have nothing to do with the morals of our
While Doctor Bernardo was struggling to care for
multitudes of waifs that no one paid attention to^
least of all the churches, the morals of the gutter
snipes did not bother the clergy a bit. But as soon
as Bernardo had large donations to help on his great
and good work, then the church smelt money and
grew anxious for the "morals" of the unfortunates
and claimed the right to have a hand in disposing
of the money for their benefit. Sir Walter Raleigh
touched up this matter in his lines:
Go tell the court it glows, and shines like rotten wood;
Go tell the church it shows what's good, and doth no good.
If court and church reply, give court and church the lie.
'No one can honor the sincere Christian more than
I, but look at the billions in vested church buildings
and at the billions of unhelped sufferers dying on
doorsteps, the comfortable churches locked against
them though their pennies built these grand edifices.
There was Professor Ernest B. Stuart, of Chicago,
an excellent chemist who, sumnling up the causes of
his having been swindled so often, told me that he
was thankful that he was not capable of becoming
rich. Great corporations made large sums from pro-
cesses they cheated him out of and when he lost his
place as city milk inspector for not taking bribes
from adulterating milkmen, as the saloon keeping
aldermen expected him to do, more than a thousand
babies perished from drinking formaldehyde in milk
sold thereafter. The people pay for their joke of
allowing murderers to run municipal affairs as iii
tough Kew York and rotten Philadelphia, with burg-
lars on the police force, millions expended for filters
that brmg more typhoid than before, the politicians
asking "wot in 'ell you goin' ter do about it ?"
But whosoever protests is going to be laughed at
by the monkey populace and told, as 1 was, that you
are unpractical; that you should get in with the
grafters instead of fighting them and make money,
instead of losing it and your time in fighting them.
For years after I brought charges against the
county commissioners for their cruelties and robberies
of the insane a detective named Bob Bruce, a well
known honest fellow, informed me of "jobs" the com-
missioners undertook to "do me up." J^ight visiting
had to be cut out from my practice.
But to get back to merrier things, I read some-
where that the humerus was so named because near
the funny bone.
A stenographer of mine once converted idiosyn-
cracy into idiot crazy, theory into sherry, and the
sentence, "poUr oil on the troubled waters" into "boil
the tub of water." But the worst jolt was given me by
a clerk employed to address envelopes to patients to
whom I wished to announce a change of residence ; I
gave him my case book to copy the names from, and
discovered just in time that he was also putting the
diseases of each on the addressed envelope. For in-
OLD CHICAGO 251
stance, Jane Smith, Epileptic ; Robert Roe, Inebriate ;
and so on.
He merely followed instructions, as tbe sea cap-
tain thought he did when reading the card in his
medicine chest that number 15 was good for diarrhoea,
and the bottle being empty he gave equal parts of num-
ber T and 8, with bad results.
A trial conducted by my friend Frank P. Blair,
son of the former senator of that name, is worth men-
tioning as it enabled me to judicially under oath give
a miserable quack a dose he will remember. Sancho
Panza, or some such name, "invented" a little tin box
in which I found asphaltum which he called "oxy-
donor," and advertised, with testimonials, of course,
as a cure all. Tie the tin to your leg and place the
string so the box could be in cold water and the "nerve
current" would do the rest. Some imitator was ac-
cused of infringing and Sancho brought suit. Blair
fief ended the imitator and stipulated that the only
ground he would take was that oxydonor was a fake
and the defendant claimed that no one had a monoply
of the fake business. I testified that both tools were
abominable tricks to deceive, and that the advertising
of "electropoise" during our Spanish war, a prede-
cessor of oxydonor, whether Sancho was responsible
for it or not, when our soldiers were advised in the
magazine advertisements to buy it as a sure preven-
tive of yellow fever, was such an outrage that the one
who advertised should be hung as a traitor to the gov-
I k^sted the string and box with dclicato galvano-
meters and found that not the billionth of an ampere
could be discovered under the advertised conditions*
Yet that infernal humbug sells v^idely.
The average fakir knows how to be dignified, as
that is also a lay means of estimating knowledge. A
little English girl, just over from Manchester, said
to her mother : "Mamma, he can't be a real doctor, be-
cause he spoke to me." Had I frowned the youngster
would have thought me a great physician.
But our American kids are not afraid to speak to
doctors, as shown in the case of a little chap on tip
toes trying to reach a bell handle when a passing
doctor in the kindness of his heart asked him if he
wanted to ring the bell, and finding that he did, the
doctor pulled it for him and was greeted by the boy,
as he scampered away, with the advice: "ISTow run
A dignified homeo in Aldine Square made big
fees- "curing diphtheria" that was only tonsilitis, and
one patient of mine was indignant when I told her that
she had only tonsilitis while she told her friends that
I had cured her of diphtheria.
More often belittling of the trouble after the cure
is the rule, as an Irishman was inclined to do when
he growled that it was hard enough to be sick without
having to pay the doctor for it.
Having seen Chicago grow from a town of 300,000
to 2,000,000, and twenty-story sky-rakers surround-
ing the six story building I had occupied for twenty
OLD CHICAGO. 253
years shutting out light and air but not heat, recollec-
tions of the cool sea air of Atlantic City drew me to
that resort to establish practice in my specialty of
neurology and psychiatry. Convalescents and the nerv-
ously afflicted do well here, shortening their periods
of illness remarkably, and mild mental diseases can
benefit more than elsewhere by simply sitting on the
shore all day.
Whatever pure sea air and every range of accom-
modations can do for the sick, Atlantic City affords,
and I have noticed many infants from the hot cities,
perishing from improper feeding, teething and heat
combined, rapidly recover in spite of ignorant par-
ents continuing starchy or meat diet, with sometimes
formaldehyde milk brought from their homes. Good
milk can be had here and with ordinary care and
instruction to the mother the little ones rebound
An old chap said he had grown twenty years
younger at this place in two weeks, and was in danger
of being able to read his own birth notice in the news-
paper some day.
The extraordinary stimulant properties of the sea
breezes here enable me to do away with much medi-
cation, neurasthenics especially are soon out of bed,
permanently recovered. Hotel and boarding house
facilities are numerous here and the pernicious fakes
can be escaped. Honest and skilled medical care can
save patients much time and expense with the home-
like surroundings to be secured here for invalids.
254 FUN IN A doctor's life
]^or merely because one is at the sea shore need there
be dissipation. Quiet rest is to be had, if not ultra-
The writer will be pleased to correspond with
physicians over America concerning care of nervous
and mild mental cases at Atlantic City.
THE OLD HOSPITAL
About the time tlie civil war broke out in the six- j
ties a small hospital was started on the lake front, in \
an old cemetery comer of what is now Lincoln Park i
in Chicago. The hospital outgrew its space and was '
rebuilt on Pranklin street and later Belden avenue and
is now one of the largest and best in the country.
The city politicians stole the cemetery, pretended j
to cart the bones elsewhere, and converted the place
into the large park on the E'orth Side. A few wealthy ;
lot owners of the old cemetery fought the steal, and ;
secured injunctions in the higher courts against evic-
tion in their special cases. Those who did not or could j
not resist lost their lots, though the deeds set forth that ]
their purchase was "forever." j
"Rattle his bones over the stones, j
It's only a pauper whom nobody owns," j
was applicable in a few cases of removals, only. The |
vast majority still lie beneath the feet of the park vis- j
itors, waiting for Gabriel's horn. 1
A religious and very sincere brotherhood started |
the hospital and secured the services of Dr. Baxter,
an excellent surgeon of that time ; but by mischance
inflicted upon the patients the renowned quack Cy- !
phcr, ^'Member of the faculty of Vienna/' as his cards
stated, whatever that may mean. It was said that he
had b( en a barber in that Austrian town, and he was
a little the most ignorant and rotten humbug of the
But his piety secured him patients outside the
hospital, as did his well advertised connection with
the good institution, which was very favorably known.
The brotherhood nurses found his ignorance too
apparent, but not wishing to offend so religious a
doctor placed him in charge of the consumptive wards,
presuming that nothing could be done for them, so
Cypher could be kept busy doing it.
The cherry laurel water he prescribed for them
kept the poor sufferers contented with themselves and
the idea that Cypher was ^'curing" them. The gradu-
ated regular physicians could never consult with him,
but they occasionally played tricks on the "Vienna
He tried to educate himself by poring over the
prescriptions on file in the hospital drug store, asking
the brother pharmacist what the other doctors gave
this and that and the other for, and in that way he
came to know about bromides, iodides and some other
things. This propensity becoming known to the reg-
ular physicians on duty, some of them concocted a trap
for Cypher, into which he promptly tumbled. But
the druggist was an accomplice, and as soon as Cypher
had carefully copied "stercoraceous acid, q. s., a tea-
spoonful after meals," which written on several pre-
THE OLD HOSPITAL 257
scriptions on the druggist's hook, disappeared and
were seen no more.
The druggist told Cypher he thought the other
doctors prescribed it for consumption, and as he was
a specialist in everything, he set abocit curing up the
town with the new drug and sprinkled the pharmacies
of Chicago with orders for the mysterious prepara-
tion as well as writing for a bottle to be sent up to
The druggist showed this prescription to the heads
of the hospitals and an effort was made to hush things
up, but it leaked out and Cypher's wrath was bound-
less. He referred to the time when the druggist was
only religious and knew nothing of drugs, claiming
that he was all the better as a pill-mixer in those times,
but that since the brother selected for druggist had
been sent to colleges of pharmacy he lost his respect
for religious men and matters. So no more brothers
should go to school.
Then during the eighties there was added to the
medical staff, as the hospital expanded, a society doc-
tor with a millionaire father-in-law and a hundred
thousand dollar house owned by the doctor's wife,
the expense of maintaining which, not having a cent
contributed to it by the plutocratic father of the wife,
necessitated the son-in-law humping himself in all the
approved methods of catching on to an income from
Though the doctor came from a fair school of med-
icine he had no time to bother about posting himself
in the advances of his profession. The scramble to
pay off a crowd of house help, stable men, trades
people, and others kept his time filled and his nights
When he found that the will did not mention him
he lost his mind and died insane soon after.
At the time I became a member of the hospital
staff the single interne changed yearly ; now there are
six of them. The typhoid mortality was 25 per cent,
everywhere except in the rotten county hospital, where
it was 30 per cent. Actually, a typhoid case stood five
per cent, better chances of living if not taken to the
political boodlerburg "hospital."
About 1885 I suggested to an interne a plan to
fight typhiod by organized effort, and into my methods
the good brothers came heroically and willingly; so
that in the three succeeding years we managed to re-
duce the death rate to three per cent, among a
thousand patients. It has been only during a much
later period that typhoid has reduced its 25 per cent,
rate of loss.
But I refrained from describing methods and re-
sults in the medical journals through knowing that the
remarkable reduction in death rate would be ascribed
to mistaken diagnosis and to other things familiar to
masters in detraction. My internes and I rejoiced and
we let it go at that.
Poor Dr. Bobinsky, the heir expectant, spent most
of his time in figuring on how to screw bills up for
treating measles as scarlatina and tonsilitis as diph-
THE OLD HOSPITAL 259
theria, in whicli disorders lie had a great reputation;
"curing" both in a few days.
About the time antipyrine came in he was enabled
to add typhoid fever to his reputation for invinci-
bility, by asking me to write an article on the use of
the new drug in typhoid fever, as he had not time to
look into the matter. The article appeared in a med-
ical journal and with his name as the author. Thous-
ands of reprints in pamphlet form were sent to his
patients, from which they inferred that Bobinsky,
wielding the new German drug, abolished typhoid as
he did diphtheria and scarlatina.
I used to pity the poor devil, who had no time to
study honest medicine, with its multitude of inter-
esting problems ; being bound down to a life of lies ;
shifting, scheming, to make ends meet with his ten
or twelve thousand a year ; worse off than the square
medical man with a bare living and time to be honest,
with the disposition to study and think for his
patients' best welfare.
The Germans call typhoid "nervous fever," and
as I had the nervous and mental disease patients,
naturally the German brotherhood thought that ty-
phoids belonged in my wards. Growing to take much
interest in the study of symptoms and pathology, a
ready familiarity was built up with all the aspects
and treatment of the disease. I refrained from dos-
ing much, and in the nineties saw the new antiseptic
method overdone at first.
Three special years my internes and I worked
260 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
untiringly together over typhoid cases, building our
record to be kno^vn to only a few persons, but destined
to increase Bobinsky's and Cypher's practice, as
the hospital grew to be favorably known for typhoid
Never a cent came to me for this and other hospital
treatment of charity cases, and so I often walked for
want of car fare, but others were able to exploit and
advertise their hospital connections so that pay prac-
tice came to them. I never had that sort of ability,
neither the time nor the disposition for it.
At that time being young and vigorous, trotting to
the bedsides of patients, never to see them later or to
have a thank from anyone when they recovered, did
not seem so hard, for in fact there were so many poor
chaps coming in sick that any selfish planning to
collect bills outside or push one's financial interests
seemed like waste of precious time in caring for the
Besides, is not specialism now established as
necessary ? I was only a medical specialist, and had
spent as much in study as some make in a life time.
Bobinsky and Cypher were financial specialists.
One can not be everything.
Both these poor fellows died, and I am alive, nor
do I draw any inference from the facts ; it has merely
so happened, except that maybe their money making
abilities availed them nothing in keeping on earth;
and I remember very well times when had I known
as little medicine as the financially successful saw-
THE OLD HOSPITAL 261
bones did, I would have dropped out also, in trying to
treat myself for occasional ailments.
x\nd now I have my fun in thinking of it all ;
though at the time it did not seem so funny; when
those who owed me dodged me, even those well able
to pay. But every doctor knows how this is. That
bilking I regarded as stealing from the poor I would
like to have helped could I have had what I earned.
One need not be bashful, at my age, in claiming
a disposition that is common among physicians; and
those who have had the same feelings will know what
is meant, nor regard it as bragging.
As the saloon keepers and gamblers in charge of
the county insane asylum and I could not get along
amicably, as we had nothing in common to argue
from or agree upon, and the merchants to whom I
had appealed for reforming the care of the institution
turning out to be interested in helping to make things
rotten, I lost my situation at the asylum, and finding
grafters of the same sort in charge of many other
public institutions, I have not been able to impress
the powers in control that I am sufficiently rotten to
work in harmony with them.
Added to my alienistic and neurological lore was
this special three years during twenty or more years
in typhoid treatment in the hospital. A medical
romance writer would describe how the town buzzed
with the news and that paying cases came in flocks.
In real life the chap who begins to attract notice for
any special aptitude has to encounter the popular pre-
jiidico against rivals taking monoy away, and that ad!-
vertising one in yoitr line of bnsincss is rank nonsense.
So the conspiracy of silence, the slur to help it
along, and if the rival seems to get along anyway the
cock-and-bull yarn is flung at him. The German mis-
take that nervousness was the whole thing in this in-
testinal diease did not help a nerve specialist among
English speaking people, so Bobinsky and Cypher got
all the typhoid cases on the reputation of the hospital
they were known to be attending.
Once I came across a boy that Cypher was dosing
with bromides for the presumed "nervous fever,'^
doctoring the GeiTQan name instead of treating the
disease about which he knew nothing, and amazing as
it sounds, in this condition of ulcerating intestines
Cypher was bringing on hemorrhages from the bowels
by feeding the boy sour kkout !
The parents insisted on his consulting with me,
but Cypher blustered and bolted from the room.
Eational care pulled the little fellow through and he
is now one of Chicago's wholesale clothing merchants,
spending great sums advertising in magazines.
Another typhoid case I treated outside the hospital
that the brothers sent me to referred his recovery to
his persistence in holding on to a crucifix during the
whole time he was sick.
These two cases were about all the typhoids I had
on the strength of the hospital experience.
But of such is the kingdom of heaven, in practice
ing in a big city.
WELFARE OF THE MULTITUDE.
Man is not the onlj slave making animal, for ants
enslave other ants and domesticate plant lice as their
cows, the aphides. But the more intelligent man real-
izes that slavery degrades himself and his victim,
though in granting the slave freedom it is not neces-
sary to overlook his inferiority.
And we can realize our own inferiority to the
financial wreckers for whom we toil, for we are prac-
tically slaves to Wall street exploiters and treasury
rohbers. Can we emancipate ourselves? Have we
sufficient intelligence to do so? Have we sufficient
honesty and courage to fight these pirates in the
interest of common decency and humanity ?
There is a very prevalent desire to get in with
them, as the people suggested that I should instead of
fighting boodlers thirty years as I have done ; but
it is ^'sL I'outrance" with me, and I hope to see much
done toward the overthrow of saloon keeping influence
in our national and municipal affairs and legal checks
enforced against greed and spoliation of peaceful,
honest multitudes. C. E. Eussell dwells on the organ-
ization of greed, on the passing of wealth into the
liands of the few, on lawless corporations, beef trusts
controlling nation's food, and oil companies seizing
the nation's financial energies, and the general lower-
ing of national standards of morality. The waste of
insurance, the groAvth of power able to nullify laws
and defy government, huge swindles, like the ship
building company and mail carrying, gi-eat confidence
gauK s like amalgamated copper, the misrule of Penn-
sylvania and the rottenness of ^ew Jersey.
The growing slums in cities, the darkness of
drudging labor, millionaires and paupers multiply-
"We cannot have slums without the deadly pen-
alty of slums, and we cannot tolerate the spoliation
and degradation of the least of these our brethren
without being despoiled and degraded ourselves."
The motto of Switzerland is "One for all and all
for one," and our country could imitate the initiative
and referendum and the real republicanism of that
country with great advantage to our common people^
the only kind we are supposed to have, instead of a&
at present allowing misrepresentatives and gigantic
thieves to rule and rob us.
But in unlocked for ways the masses are growing
enlightened, and those who have claimed to be our
leaders and teachers are finding out that they are left
behind in this duty by new warriors for liberty and
Roosevelt very properly says, that "if there is one
tendency more than another unhealthy and undesir-
able, it is the tendency to deify mere ^smartness,' un-
accompanied by a sense of moral accountability. We
shall never make our republic what it should be until
Weli'aee op the multitude 265
as a people we thoroiiglily understand and put into
practice the doctrine that success is abhorrent if at-
tained by the sacrifice of the principles of nioralitji
The successful man, whether in business or in politics^
who has risen bv conscienceless swindling of his neigh-
bors, by deceit and chicanery, by unscrupulousness,
boldness and unscrupulous cunning, stands toward
society as a dangerous wild beast. The mean and
cringing admiration which such a career commands
among those who think crookedly or not at all, makes
this kind of success perhaps the most dangerous of
all the influences that threaten our national life. Our
standard of public and private conduct will never be
raised to the proper level until we make the scroundrel
who succeeds feel the weight of a hostile public opin-
ion even more strongly than the scoundrel who fails."
Concerning the labor question, in a Chicago ad-
dress in 1900, Roosevelt said in the course of his
''You have learned the great lesson of acting in
combination," and he told the people present at the
labor day picnic that it would be impossible to over-
estimate the benefits from such association. He de-
precated demagogic high sounding appeals to passion,
saying that "a ton of oratory was not worth an ounce
of hard-headed, kindly common-sense."
"Each man shall in deed, and not merely in word,
be treated strictly on his worth as a man; that each
shall do full justice to his fellow, and in return shall
exact full justice from him. Each group has its special
2(jG fun in a BOCTOR^S LTF£
interests; and yet the higher, broader, deeper inter-
ests are those which apply to all men alike; for the
spirit of brotherhood in American citizenship, when
rightly understood and applied, is more important
than aiight else. Let ns scrupulously guard the special
interests of the wage worker, the farmer, the manu-
facturer, and the merchant, giving to each man his
due and also seeing that he does not wrong his fellows ;
but let us keep ever clearly before oitr minds the great
fact that, where the deepest chords are touched, the
interests of all are alike and must be guarded alike. '^
He spoke of avoiding hatred as the basis of action,
of retaining self respect and respecting the rights of
ISTicholas Paine Gilman in a study of the wages
system presents his conclusions and reasons in a book
Well worth reading, called "Profit Sharing between
Employer and Employee," and bearing directly there-
on he refers to co-operation, and on page 40 remarks :
"The democratic element in society is undoubtedly
gaining strength each year, and there is no good
reason in lamenting its advance. But it will never do
away with the natural aristocracy which has made
skill in the conduct of business the endowment of a
fow. The many must continue to follow, as they
have always done if they did not rush to disaster ; and
the select minority of nature's choosing must continue
to lead if the many are to prosper. IN'atural selec-
tion makes short work with headless co-operative as-
sociations in competition with firms directed by cap-
Welfaee of the multitude 267
tains of industry. The weakness of co-operative pro-
duction, thns far, has been its gross undervaluation
of the manager. The dream of an equality contra-
dicted by the plain facts of human nature has led co-
operators to offer petty salaries and restricted powers
to their superintendents. But modern industry takes
on more and more the character of a civilized warfare
in which regiments composed of brigadier generals
are quite out of place. While, then, attempts at co-
operation have been numerous the world over, the per-
centage of failures is very large in consequence of this
fundamental mistake of underrating the part that
brains have to play in successful production, under
the keen competition wihch is the rule in the last half
of the nineteenth century. The wages system, on the
contrary, is continually making inroads into the ranks
of the small dealers, who are forced to take service
with the large firms. Joint-stock companies multi-
ply in every direction, and the number of persons oil
wages or salary increase every year."
Gilman favors piece work with rewards to stimu-
late honest work and rapidity consistent with supe-
riority. Where employees share profits there is great-
er economy, less waste of time and material, and the
entire moral tone is raised in keeping with the spirit
of justice and right pervading such co-operative
places. Antagonisms between employer and help be-
eonie impossible as the interests of all are bound to-
He details the methods and success of the Lcclaire
268 FUN IN A BOCTOir S TJt^lii
SYstom oriixinaliii.f? in Paris, and sinco thon spreact to
other countries with similar instances of great co-
operative establishments that have prospered and
grown every year since the early part of the last cen-
In the Barbas establishment, on similar lines to
that of Leclaire, the Consultative committee, which is
the usual intermediary between the master and the
men, meets every three months ; it includes the mana-
gers, the chief overseers, the two oldest employees and
the five oldest workmen. This committee has showQ
us, said Barbas, that our workmen understood at the
outset that labor is not everything in business, but that
capital, and, above all, managing ability, have a great
role in production and in the results in profits and in
reputation. The power of final dismissal rests only
with Barbas, and the firm expressly reserves the right
to abandon participation at pleasure. The men be-
come attached to the place and are economical of ma*-
terial ; for instance, instead of cutting a small piece out
of a sheet of zinc they hunt around for one among
the cuttings; they are careful of the apparatus, less
imprudent in all ways, and by exactness, good work
and behavior try to please customers ; they watch over
the safety of others, for an accident is a loss of profits.
Participation assures a stable body of workmen, and
workers pass a probationary period to ascertain if
worthy of being taken into the profit-sharing arrange^
A History of Co-operation in the United States
WELFARE OF THE MULTITUDE 269
was published in 1888 by the Johns Hopkins Univers-
ity, and can be found usually in public libraries;
among numerous other works on the subject may be
mentioned those of Henry Fawcett, Sedley Taylor, W.
T. Thornton, W. Stanley Jevons, Francis A. Walker,
'N. 0. x^elson, F. H. Giddings, besides works in
French and German, and state reports on labor condi-
Charles Edward Russell has energetically surveyed
the subject of the "Uprising of the Many" in a book
under that title and in other writings, and he refers to
interesting cases in point, one especially that we can
condense from and other writers who mention it, and
which has developed into what is now known as the
In 1843 the proprietors of the flannel mills in
Rochedale, England, made fortunes out of the toil of
their workmen yearly, and in some cases monthly,
while continuing the workmen at starvation wages.
"With increased labor and the same old pay the workers
naturally asked that their burdens be lightened, and
with refusal a strike followed during which the strik-
ers were reduced to extremes. An attempt was made
to sustain the strikers on two pence a week paid by
each weaver who had work, but the strikers were many
and the employed few, so the plan failed. But the
Toad Lane weavers on strike hit upon a plan that
has borne amazing results. Twenty-eight of these
miserably impoverished flannel weavers kept up their
payments of two pence a week, appointed a treasurer
L' i () FUN IN A DOCTOR S LIFE
ini«l ])<)ii(ilit a little tea, salt and jam at wholesale
j)ricos and divided according to amounts contributx?d ;
so h( re was a direct gain with no risk of loss. A small
portion b(ung reserved for any future need in the fol-
lowing year amounted to $140 ; so they rented a store,
sold only for cash, bought and sold only the best and
purest of groceries, opposed trickery of every sort in
buying or selling, sold only at the current market
rates, would not compete with anyone, and finally
devoted a percentage to education.
The next step was to issue stock at $5 a share, and
in March, 1845, their capital was $905, with weekly
receipts of $150 for sales of goods.
In 1850 there were 600 members, and in 1857
membership had increased to 1850, while the sales
ran up to $400,000 per annum.
Everything is determined by all its members in
a meeting in which all have votes and equal rights to
be heard. The co-operative societies of England are
now too strong for politicians and other greedy and
unscrupulous vested interests to destroy or even dis-
turb. A very large part of the population now owns
stock in these companies and experience such benefits
as to encourage further growth of the plan.
Europe has a hundred thousand such societies,
with membership running into millions, and in some
places the increase is slow and gradual, while in other
places it is by steps and strides.
A Philadelphia newspaper reporter who signs him-
self G. M. G., printed in the E'orth American of May
WELFAEE OF THE MULTITUDE 271
Sth, 1908, an interview with the actor and former
prize fighter John L. Sullivan, who in homely but
convincing language shows that he has valuable opin-
ions on the money and labor situation. He suggested
that old Joe Cannon, the gagger of the house of repre-
sentatives, should be licked for his working against
the people on the corporation ^^proposish." Said he :
''Stocks and Wall street! Why, it's the joke of
the century what they 're allowed to get away with.
''Some wise guy who wants to make a play for
some foreign drug-eating duke is a little shy of the
fodder to attract that special brand of cattle.
"What does he do ? He springs some paper on a
bum railroad or often a concern that ain't got any
value in land, sea or air. He comes along and works
us into taking a slice of it.
"We can't save much on our wages. It looks like
a wise play to grab a bit of the easy stuff. You know
that. Sucker play. It's gone in a minute to help
the duke buy blooms for ladies the Wall street man's
daughter will name when she springs the breakaway
call through the voice of her high-priced lawyer.
"What happens ? Can we get the Wall street
gent who flammed us arrested ? l^ot a bit of it. Well
I should hope not. He is too necessary in picking out
our United States senators to be pushed behind the
"And its been my great pleasure to tell some of
those dollar storing old crooks that no man ever made
$5,000,000 on the level. Certainly not. I would
Zi'Ji rUi\ IX A DOCTOR .S LIFE
tell John ]). lliat the- biggest part of his pile has the
iino siiK^ll of back-number limburger cheese.
""I think the time will come when there won't be
such a thing as a multi-millionaire.
"Why? B( cause the American people will wake
up. It takes a man like President Roosevelt to help
that desirable finish. He's the greatest man who ever
had the job, and I'm a Democrat.
"The common people, the low bimch, make me
think of the rough stones in the foundation of a house.
They are out of sight, way down, with their faces
pushed into the dirt. They never get out unless some
explosion topples the whole shebang.
"Every weight that is added bears on them, no
matter what's between. They got together in self de-
fence. They've got a right to. But their own reme-
dies don't work. They get up a union. That's all
right. They must compete with money banded against
them. But what do they do ?
"Seventy-five good workmen expect to carry along
twenty-five loafers or incompetents. Same wages for
the whole hundred is the slogan. But it ain't right.
The boss oughtn't to be expected to pay a bum car-
penter, who'll waste more lumber than he'll put to
good use, as much as the skilled man, who turns out
twice the quantity of good work and wastes nothing.
"The unions want to get wise, too. The miners'
union in the West went on the bum just as soon as
it demanded that muckers, the fellows who didn't
know gold from gravel, and were only hired to turn
WELFARE OF THE MULTITUDE 273
tile dirt into the sluices so that the quicksilver could
do the picking, should get $6 a day just the same as
^ 'Maybe the co-operative plan, the way former
Governor Douglass plays it in his shoe factory in
Massachusetts, would be the proper caper. There ac-
cording to their work, the men get an interest in the
When writing my ^'Evolution of Man and His
Mind," from a life-time accumulation of memoranda,
I examined the various sociological devices for better-
ing the condition of the community and merely touch-
ed upon the co-operative method, intending to study
it more fully later. And I have done so ; comparing
views, figures, facts, opinions, pro and con, and it is
not worth while to try any other means of making vast
improvements in that line than the successful co-opera-
tive plans developed mainly from the Rochedale sys-
tem and survivals of multitudes of other related
European practical organizations.
Distributive co-operation, that for buying and sell-
ing groceries, for instance, is the most successful
everywhere, while productive or manufacturing has
only been successful under the direction of some such
head as Sir Titus Salt, Leclaire and similar big
brained, big hearted men who proved by their lives
that they had the welfare of their fellows at heart.
Honesty is probably more common than general
ability, but when conjoined, other things equal, best
274 FUN IN A doctor's LIFE
The Coopers' co-operative organization in Minn-
esota lias done well by all concerned, and there arc
numerous profit-sharing concerns as well as co-opera-
tive corporations with or without profit-sharing in
America that are now established safely. The ex-
perience of the Rochedale managers is the most in-
structive, and their advice the best to follow, but of
course, different businesses and local conditions mod-
ify the applicability of the Rochedale or any other
system to the needs of employers and workmen in any
other places. But certain principles remain the same
Cash transactions only.
Pure goods only bought or sold.
'No trickery in anything.
J^othing for mere display. Economy enables
better satisfaction of customers.
Shares $5, non-forf citable under any pretext, as
in lapsing of insurance policies, transferable only to
the company when sold, as the shares are to be kept
from speculators and rascally exploiters.
One share only to one person.
The company can buy back the share of anyone
at a proper price, which it has the right to fix, and
usually this price is far above par.
By such and other methods the elimination of the
fanatic, the incompetent and the rogue is accom-
plished. No religious, temperance or other side opin-
ion difference is allowed to sway considerations in the
least; and arrangements are made to listen to anyone
WELFARE OF THE MULTITUDE 275
by consent of the voters, all stockholders, and it is by
their acting that government is made and final action
taken in everything. Good managers are trusted
with full power until deposed for cause, or by vote
of all members.
The Evolution Publishing Company of Atlantic
City, IsTew Jersey, was incorporated under 'New Jersey
laws of 1902, for the express purpose of giving
authors a square deal and enabling them to know that
they are receiving the lion's share of the profits from
their work by check systems upon the output of the
printers and presses, placing all editions under the
control of the author or copyright purchaser instead
of having to rely upon statements of publishers as to
the number of books sold; statements that may not
be true, as many a robbed author has had good reason
Correspondence with those intending to issue
books is solicited by the company, and fair dealing
with authors will be assured in such manner that the
author can positively know the truth of all statements
made by the Evolution Publishing Company.
Any work permitted to pass through the United
States mails will be published by the company at very
slightly more than the mere cost of printing and bind-
ing, in artistic satisfactory styles, the money for sales
coming direct to the author.
Manuscript should not be sent until preliminary
understanding is made as to plan of publishing pre-
Hundreds of boys, even as far back as the fifties,
screwed rollers, such as bed castors, into old skates
without blades or runners. And I was one of the boys.
The job was not a good one, for one skate split in two
and the other with rollers made precarious footing, but
a neighboring lawyer named Green, in St. Louis,
watched me limpingly sliding on these imperfect an-
cestors of the rink rollers and pronounced me a queer
duck. Lots of anticipations of this sort have been
made, but times have to ripen for the spread of mech-
anism of all sorts.
Watching a hose cart reeled by hand, it occurred
to me that if the axle were geared to the reel the cart
could run back over the hose and wind up by horse
power instead of hand. About 1856 I wrote to the
Scientific American editors, and Munn & Company
replied that it was worth patenting as a novel arrange-
]nent, but I had no money as a boy and long years
after saw pictures of my machine invented by some
one else, but steam began to take care of such things,
and hose may be strung where carts cannot run and
reel it, though there was something in the notion and
it may be utilized yet.
Then, boot blacking, it struck me, could be made
easier hj a circular brush turned by a crank. Twenty
years after I saw a machine of the sort, but it did
not come into general use, though I hear that in Ger-
many there is a coin-in-the-slot-machine at which you
stand and your boots are cleaned.
While in the signal service I sent Captain How-
gate many suggestions for improving machinery of the
service, but he was too greatly interested in having a
*^good time" to be impressed.
At Ft. Benton, Montana, I split the button of an
ordinary telegraph sending key, put a spring between
the two piet3es, arranging one of the halves to fall over
upon a platinum point and close the circuit whenever
the key was not in use. Model makers wanted $25
to make a presentable one and patent attorneys two
or three hundred dollars for bothering about it. Ee-
examining the need for the self-closing key, I con-
cluded the old switch method was good enough and
that so few accidents occured by leaving it open when
not in use, that the new key could only become popular
by a big company sending it out in place of the old
ones, and big companies are averse to paying inventors
Many considerations besides the mere machine
itself have to be regarded in putting out an invention.
The most valuable thing may be barred from use by
Jiundreds of impediments. For instance, Edison ar-
ranged a simple voting apparatus by which a legis-
lator at his desk may press a button and record his
-aye or nay at the clerk's desk electrically. But the
278 FUN IN" A DOCTOR'S LIFi;
politicians opposed anything that would favor tonost
Somotiines an inventor asks too much and in\'itos
rascality, such as poor Dr. Ilil], of Chicago, oncount-
erod. The old Danioll copper and zinc with porous
cup for chemicals was supplanted by HilPs gravity
battery, the zinc being suspended in the least dense
fluid at the top of the cell, and the copper disk instead
of surrounding the bar of zinc was placed in the
sulphate of copper solution in the bottom of the celL
Hill suspended his wheel of zinc from a stick resting'
on top of the cell. He was offered ten cents a cell by
the Western Union Telegraph company and would-
have been made very wealthy had he accepted, but re-
fused. The company sent to France and put through-
the Callaud improvement on Hill's battery, merely
holding the zinc to the glass hj a projection at one
side of the zinc. This is used everywhere and Hill
was ruined. But he originated the gravity method.
At Ft. Benton I calculated the surface of a self-
equating sun dial to give clock time by inspection;
mean instead of apparent time, the two differing by
fifteen minutes slow or fast, at times.
I supplied military posts with the dials and placed
them at tovms along the Missouri river as far down
as Sioux City, publishing the formula in Van ^os-
trand's Engineering Magazine in 'New York in July,
At medical college our professor of obstetrics ex-
hibited a complicated, expensive apparatus called a^
pelvimeter, to determine by several calculations the
parturient possibilities of deformed pelves. The ma-
chine struck me as so absurd that I started in to de-
vise a simpler affair alid succeeded. The apparatus was
on the caliper order and worth about $20. My simpli-
fication was at the cost of two rubber bands to go over
fingers and a foot of tape. Put the tape over index
and middle fingers held by the rubbers, thumb in palm
and fingers pointedly bunched, introduce and place
index finger in sacral cavity, the tip of middle finger
carried to pubes, allowing tape to slide through one
band but not the other, then close the fingers, with-
draw and put rule over tape length and you have the
The description takes more time than the use of
the contrivance. Ten seconds sufiicing for that, while
the calipers, great unwieldly hoops, took half an hour
to apply and figure the results.
Dr. Roler, to whom I explained my plan, laugh-
ingly remarked that it was "a cute yankee trick ;" he
"was the obstetric professor. I described it in several
medical journals of the time, 1880.
And in the American Practitioner subsequently I
explained a means of dispensing with the unwieldly,
complicated "crytometer," for measuring heads to
locate the fissure of Kolando in the brain prior to
operations on the cerebrum. My invention was a
plain rubber strap witli a mark at the proper distance
from the end to show where the fissure was when the
strap was stretched over the head from nose root to
2 so FUN IX A DOCTOR'S LIFE
occiput ; the stretching adapting the measure to any
size head, but giving exact results for all sizes.
At Fort Sully, Dakota Territory, in 1873, I con-
tinued experiments on a printing telegraph system
that had occiirnd to me three years before. Occas-
ionally through subsequent years as time permitted
I worked at the invention but made little progress
until about 1904, when the final simplification worked
itself out in my mind. It is a cheap, practical telauto-
graph, a fac-simile telegraph by means of which
printed or written characters can be transmitted any
distance ; exclusive of wires and battery the terminal
receiver and sender may be manufactured at from $2^
to $5 each. Other telautographs costing at least
several hundred dollars and easily deranged.
Ever since typewriters appeared and gradually be-
came improved, though remaining as expensive, I
used one or other of the machines, and in absence of
operators or for economy grew familiar with their
workings and acquired fair speed in working them^
preparing all manuscripts for the printer on a
Remington, mainly, and finally becoming so depend-
ent upon the key board that it is a nuisance to me to
use pen and ink any more. It seems to have become
a part of my periphery, so that I can think faster and
certainly write more legibly with the machine than
with ^%ng hand."^
I looked upon the basket full of long grasshopper
legs, the typebar levers, ratchets, pinions, wheels,
cams, racks, cogs, springs, rods,, so delicately fash^
loned, requiring such exact workmanship and fine
materials, as probably too numerous and costly, but
had little time to take from other things to attempt
simplification of the mechanism.
Then too, I realized that able minds and hands
had long been working out problems in typewriter
perfection, so was not bumptious enough to fancy at
that time that I could make anything better than we
had in the market in the way of typewriters.
But the complications annoyed me and I felt
that it was a big mistake to have so much machinery
to do so little and simple work. Then I thought may-
be some new principle might be used to dispose of
the jointed rods and typebar levers, gf3tting the finger
stroke nearer the type stroke on the paper. That was
the beginning of three or four years' immersion in the
study of all that pertained to typewriters, while at the
same time writing my Therapeutics and publishing
it, both these undertakings were to fill up time while
waiting for arrangements to perfect themselves slowly
in the starting of a great sanitarium in Delaware.
Everything takes time and I was used to disappoint-
ments but always did something while waiting, and
it was fortunate, for eventually I was completely dis-
gusted with the waiting, forseeing a swindle, and has-
tened my typewriter studies to let the making of my
typewriter and telautograph become my main work.
For step by step I got into the typewriter science
and literature, searching through libraries, shops^
patent office reports, through mechanics and manufac-
282 FUN IN A DOCTOR'S LIFE
tnrers, until I had settlod npon a method of short-
cning up the instrumental parts amazingly. But I
gathered the whole hisory of typewriters, from the
crude inception in Queen Anne's time down through
all the wheel, type bar, plate and a couple of hemis-
phere inventions. Going back through all patent
office reports since the patent office was started, gradu-
ally coming down to the weekly issued ones which
were searched as soon as published, I went to AVash-
ington and waded through the piatent office records in
the library of that department, satisfying myself that
my ideas were new and there could be no accusation
of copying brought against me. TheU came long
months of model making, gradual improvements in
parts, always with regard to simplicity, never satis-
fied with what would merely do the work well, but
seeking for a simpler method of doing it just as well
By -this time I was cornered, for the santiariuiil
was threatening to fizzle and my fimds were getting
low with a family to support, so in the interim of
making preparations to practice medicine at Atlantic
City, the nearest large enough place offering any
chances to my specialty of mental and nervous dis-
ease, I sought a banker friend and some honest me-
chanics, explained things to them, and we formed the
Book and Electric Typewriter Company under Dela-
ware State incorporation laws, and enough stock was
paid in to go on with the model and employ a patent
Determined not to fail in this enterprise tliroiigli
want of knowledge of any legal or other business in-
volved in securing a valid i3atent, I Went to Phila-
delphia, looked over patent attorneys there and then to
Washington, finally settling upon a firm that now
handles my first application, and I have meanwhile
so improved upon the original as to make it a matter
of no hurry or consequence as to the patent for the
number one model. Its slow consideration by the
patent office examiners, and the methods of the present
attorneys, afford useful clues to what can be expected
when the later models go in for patent claims. The
original is basic and all subsequent machines include
the principles upon which the first claims are founded,
and what is important to consider, the filing of the
application, specifications and claims is dated No-
vember 12th, 1906, the number being 343,095, series
of 1900, U. S. Patent Office. So no interference with
any other claim is possible, nor is there any prospect
of infringement claim when the patent is granted, for
the examiners are required by law to irdmediately not-
ify all parties to such matters as soon after the filing
as practicable. In all the vast mass of claims in the
patent office there are but two antiquated and expired
patents that bear the least resemblance to my machine,
and these have been passed over by the examiner as not
having anything to do With my particular invention,
nor resembling any of its working parts sufficiently to^
cause any claim for interference.
Some divisions of the Patent Office are well up'
284 FUN IN A BOCTOTl\s LIFE
with thoir work and pass upon ap])1ications qniclvly,
while others are far behind, so much so as to have
claims six or seven years in arrears, in many cases
through attorneys amending original papers. I
notice that some grants are upon filings made eight
years previously in the typewriter division. This
must be the fault of the inventor in complicating
claims with matter requiring amendment. But a
serious matter to consider is the honesty of the attor-
ney and examiner. In 1908 a Philadelphia lawyer
and an electrical division examiner were jailed for
destroying patent office records and obtaining patents
fraudulently. ^N'ow it is impossible to say if this is
not a conspiracy against honest men instead of being
what is claimed, but the very lawyer under charges
was one I waited an hour to see in 1906, but failed
to meet. He was recommended by a model maker.
There is a good deal of the pig-in-the-poke chances
in getting a patent attorney and securing a patent,
but I shall lessen that gamble to the vanishing point
by vigilance and study of the situation.
Habits of close investigation and study of princi^
pies in many fields, such as the application of mathe-
matical, chrmical and physical laws to physiological
and mental phenomena, enabled ready transfer of re-
search to mechanism and its synthesis. The printing
telegraph has been worked out during thirty or more
years of occasional planning to a far simpler and
cheaper shape than the telautograph of the present.
A description of this instrument would require but
a minute's time and a rough design to place it in
the power of any fair electrician to grasp the idea
thoroughly, and place me at his mercy not to appro-
priate it, but that would be done with difficulty and
only by corrupting officials with much money, for
precautions have been taken with this and the type-
writer instruments to firmly prove priority, so that
even invention stealing trusts could n\>t finally rob me
of the patents.
While immersed in medical and similar studies
my intentness and absorbtion enabled the financial
expert to get my profits, but now that I intend to make
a business of every aspect of this patenting matter,
and have also gone into the psychology of all persons
and things concerned therein, the gentry who live by
stealing the work of others' brains will find they have
no chance to absorb either the typewriter or the fac-
At present the typewriter will be the main affair
upon which to procure patents. The first model, for
which application is in the Patent Office, merely
proves priority; the second shape it assumes is the
more important and final one, for it simplifies and at
the same time embodies all the preceding improve-
ments. It enables the working parts to be covered by
a small cigar box. The types work straight down
upon the book or platen on a table without the inter-
vention of wheels, grasshopper legs, movable plates,
spheres or olden devices to have the key action bring
the impression economically to the printing point.
Any one can make a complicakMl machine regardless
of cost to do work, but it requires intense application
to make complicated work with a simple instrument.
You can jab long rods down with type at the ends if
you have all day to write a few words, but to put an
universal key board immediately over the book or
paper at an inch or so distance, and get better impres-
sions, in a vastly wider range of work than any other
machine affords, justifies the four years of night and
day study given the subject, until "pin-heads^ around
me voted me an unmitigated crank.
The inventor of the famous solar compass. Dr.
Burt, who in turn was surveyor, judge and physician,
arranged the first practical typewriter, and all type-
bar machines follow his first model while improving
The knowledge of geometry acquired in surveying,
and of printing when typesetting, enabled me to in-
telligently combine principles of trigonometry and
typography in perfectly new ways in my book type-
There are toys sold that accomplish little with pro-
digious work. My cheap machine accomplishes pro-
digious work with little expenditure of time or effort,
and the working parts, which cost three-fourths of the
making of ordinary typewriters, in my machines may
be made for a sum apparently ridiculously small, so
much so that at first I fancied the entire apparatus
could be put on the market for ten dollars, and yet
think that eventually a well made, inexpensive affair
INVEIi! TIOIS^S 287
will spring from this innovation at some such, cost, but
looking at the three himdred dollar and hundred and
fifty dollar book machines, that get out of alignment
so readily and cost so much to keep in order, it seems
to me now that the better class and wider range of
work practicable to my improved book typewriter with
the utter impossibility of its ever getting out of align-
ment, will justify the manufacturers in placing the
price at twenty dollars and fifty dollars for two kinds
of instruments when placed on the market. But this
is a matter of expediency, and the directors may not
care to enter into competition with inferior machines
at higher prices but gradually lower the prices as in-
evitable improvements and rapidity of manufacture
Shares of stock in the Book & Electric Typewriter
Company are ten dollars, July, 1908, but as soon as
the second application goes in the Patent Office upon
the completion of the second model, the value of these
shares will naturally enhance to double or more the
charter price and may eventually find they have as
good an investment for profits as any previously
radical revolution in machinery has made. Holders
of ten dollars telephone stock grew rich on the single
The Book & Electric Typewriter Company was
organized under Delaware incorporation laws, and
a clause in the charter explains its object to be: "To
transact the business of improving, completing, patent-
ing, manufacturing and selling typewriters and writ-
ing and printing telegraphs invontoj by Dr. S. V.
Clevcnger, and based on new principles discovered by
This charter is recorded Oct. 11, 1906.
When model number two is finished and the
second application for a patent is applied for, while
the first applicaion is still pending for the original
machine, the ground work of the subsequent improve-
ments, then the printing and writing telegraph will
be taken up, as by that time there will be a fighting
fund at hand to defeat electrical invention grabbers
who infest law offices and who merely rob the weak
and unprotected but quail before any corporation
strong enough to protect its rights. The history of in-
ventors is a sad one, as I detailed in my ^^Evolution
of Man and His Mind," but I intend to make my in-
ventions an exception to the rule in that respect,
through a full understanding of the things to avoid
and through knowing what to do; information the
poor inventors did not possess. It is only the one who
has "awareness" that avoids the bunco game. Patent
attorneys there are of unimpeachable integrity and
these are to be employed in fighting the new issues
through for my corporation, and as to the Book &
Electric Typewriter Company, it is officered by honest
men who favor only honest methods, hence there is
but one kind of stock, called common; no tricks to
freeze out or hide profits or to concentrate the stock
sold in the hands of dishonest few, as has been done in
other corporations, nor does any of the stock go upon
Wall street or into the hands of brokers. Dealings
are direct between the purchaser and the Company,
nor are flamboyant promises and advertising schemes
to be used to secure the working capital needed.
Merely enough stock is to be sold to construct the nec-
essary machine shop and make the models and first
output of typewriters and to secure the patents; the
company then becomes a close corporation, depending
upon its manufactures and valuable machinery for
profits; and never a drop of ^Vater" shall ever get
into the stock, for the aim of the incorporators is to
gradually build up a co-operative and profit sharing
establishment on the successful plans of the Euro-
pean concerns mentioned, believing that the welfare
of our neighbors is bound up in our own and that
by justice to all can we be happiest ourselves.
Whoever subscribes and pays for a share of stock
in this company at the par value of ten dollars per
share will have his interests conscientiously guarded,
and we hope, in time, realize a fortune from the
venture. Everything is open and above board and,
as far as compatible with economy, for postage ex-
pense mounts up, every stockholder will be apprised
of the doings and progress of the company in its
patent securing and manufacturing, and the first
dividend issued will be with rejoicing of all partici-
Capitalists willing to float corporations were
avoided as often unconscionable and liable to exploit
stock improperly. Then it is unwise to disclose de-
tails of inventions to too many until they arc pat<^mt-
ed ; so scattered small stockholders who are willing
to trust to me to guide matters aright are preferred as
securing principles which the directors will maintain.
Every company, whether incorporated or not,
has to depend upon the honesty and skill of one per-
son, usually the originator, until firmly established so
that the business may be run automatically, and the
old idea of irresponsibility of corporate control is
being replaced by the knowledge that no corporation
is better or worse than those at its head.
On the title page of this book there is an intima-
tion that problems for making the world better had
been solved in England, France and Germany. These
methods are to be applied by the author of this book in
conducting the business of the Book & Electric Type-
writer Company, in the belief that the workmen will
take a greater interest in an establishment that looks
out for the interests of the humblest person, paying
just wages, rendering to capital and employees what-
ever is due either, and remembering that talent,
ability and the use of money deserve fair compensa-
tion as well as does industrious and painstaking labor,
without making the sentimental mistakes that have
defeated the good intentions of those who had not
sufficiently studied how to make co-operative com-
panies successful. But the co-operative plans will not
apply until later, when the stockholders of the Book
& Electric Typewriter Company have a chance to dis-
cuss the feasibility of proposed methods, and after
full deliberation. Meanwhile the business of the com-
]Dany will be conducted with observance of the 'New
Jersey and Delaware corporation laws and for the
profit of the investors.
The present price of ten dollars per share in the
Book & Electric Typewriter Company will be main-
tained imtil the completion of the second model and
patent application, after which the price will be raised
without further notice.
Communications and payments for stock subscrip-
tions should be sent to Dr. S. V. Clevenger, Secretary
and Treasurer, Book & Electric Typewriter Company,
Box 7, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Some Kinds of Fun 3
Thwarting a Prophecy 21
Wireless from Mars 24
Old New Orleans 29
The Sons of Senegambian Simians 41
Among Mexicans 47
Soldier Fun , 51
Indians and Gold Mines 58
Old St. Louis 69
Hungry and Thirsty 75
Fun on Surveys 85
King Mike 102
Crazy Folks 109
Fun with Illinois Grafters 134
Fortunes in Books 147
Degraded Expert Business 156
Fun with Chicago Boodlers 199
Old Chicago 229
The Old Hospital .255
Welfare of the Multitude 263
The Evolution of Man
and His Mind
By Dr. S. V. Clevenger
6 1 5 Pages
Evolution Publishing Company
Atlantic City, N. J.
"A rich store of useful information and pleas-
ing fancy. We commend it most highly." —
Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.
"Original and valuable." — Prof E. S. Morse,
Peabody Academy of Science, Salem, Mass.
"The author is a man of wide reading and an
ingenious thinker." — Jovirnal American Medical
"Deserves close attention." — Journal of Men-
tal Science, London.
"A wealth of information and labor." — Micro-
scope, Ann Harbor, Mich. University.
•'I recommend it to my class as well worth
study." — Prof. W. K. Moorehead, Phelps Acad-
emy, Andover, Mass.
"Facts attractively set forth. I use the book
for reference in my class Avork."— Prof. ^V. H.
Sherzer, State Normal College, Michii-an.
By Dr. S. V. Clevenger
Best Law Sheep $12; Cloth $10
Evolution Publishing Company
Atlantic City, N. J.
"Extensive research, valuable for reference." —
American Journal of Insanity.
'"Absolutely necessary to any lawyer." — N. Y.
"The standard work." — American Lawyer.
'"Most complete and useful treatise on the
subject." — Albany Law Journal.
"A work of exceptional merit." — Green Bag.
Covers all aspedts of insanity for physicians and
For full information of insane asylum abuses
read the chapter on Treatment in this work.